Thanks for reading my blog!
Breathe deeply and slowly. Let yourself become centered – shutting out distractions. Breathe in eternal peace, and let your body fill with unconditional love.
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
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Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again
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Light A Candle Today!
In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.
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.
FEB. 14: Norse Family Festival – Celebrated as Valentine’s Day. Voted the Sweetest Day of the Year by chocolate lovers everywhere.
FEB. 15: Lupercalia (Festival of the Wolf): Pan’s Day—Honoring the Lord of the Wilderness, Animals, and Fertility. Coming of Spring.
FEB. 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day. Need a suggestion or two?
Face to Face Workshops with GrannyMoon at Sticks and Stones
Join us at https://www.meetup.com/Witchy-Wednesdays
The Magick of Crystals: 12 PM – 2 PM – Feb 19
WitchCrafting: 1 PM – 3PM – Mar 5
The Herbal Cauldron 1 PM – 3 PM – Mar 12
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 online Healing Arts Course (1-3) which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered at the same time!
Natural Witchcraft with GrannyMoon
Welcome to a journey to learn about yourself and your hidden powers. Wise women and men have existed for thousands of years and still exist throughout the world. They know Mother Earth as the ultimate healer, and have learned to utilize the gifts of of nature. Inside each person is a being of wisdom, deeply connected to the phases of the moon and the tides of the sea. All we need to do is trust our innate wisdom.
This will take 13 weeks of study and hands-on practice. But it should be fun for you too! We start with the basics!
~What You Need To Know First!
~Your Inner Witch
~The Informed Witch
~Your Witchy Genealogy, Finding Your Ancestors
~Much Much More
This is not Wicca! You don’t need expensive accoutrements or other fancy trappings! All lessons are done weekly with GrannyMoon through e-mail, with personal feedback.
Course requires purchase of one text book! You may buy this new,
used or you may already have it! “Way of Natural Magick” by Nigel Pennick
All Students Welcome!
A 13 week course on-line course.
Those completing this course will receive a certificate in Natural Magick!
Payment Plan Available
3 payments of $50.00
Contact GrannyMoon at:
The Goddess School Grimoire
eBook (PDF): $6.25
The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (GoddessSchool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.
NEW MOON FEBRUARY 20, 2023 IN PISCES
New Moon February 20, 2023 in Pisces
The February New Moon will be the third new moon of the winter 2022-2023 season. It will be the third and last new moon after the Winter Solstice in 2022.
The New Moon in Pisces is a good time to commit to personal goals that express the positive energies of the sign of the Fish. These include taking a leap of faith, accepting imperfections in ourselves and in others as a different kind of “perfection,” starting a project that requires imagination and visualization skills, consciously putting time aside for peaceful and rejuvenating activities, and sharing a dream with another.
With this potent Pisces energy, we have the chance to make important changes in our lives.
The February 2023 New Moon will be called the New Worm Moon because it is the start of the March Full Moon lunar cycle. This is something new for me as I’ve not heard this name for the February New Moon before. Depending on the year the name will change. The name is fitting for the season because while it’s part of Winter, we’re getting closer to spring.
Receive the Gift of Intuition this New Moon from Archangel Asariel!
Archangel Asariel will be working for us on this New Moon. You just need to ask for his assistance. The meaning of Asariel is “Whom God has bound”. The Patron Angel of Waters and governs the waters of the earth; the seas, oceans and the rivers. This Archangel will be bringing gifts on this New Moon to people including: intuition, intuitive wisdom, dreams, emotions, creativity and Spirituality. So this is a perfect night to work on your intuition/psychic self. You can increase your natural gifts by asking this wonderful Archangel to help you on the night of the New Moon. I have an audio class on how to Increase Your Intuitive Psychic Self that could be of great benefit to you now and in the future.
This New Moon represents a time of giving back to the world and sharing the gift of hope. In today’s world being generous of spirit and giving and inspiring people to have hope is critical. We have gone through many changes over the last few months and now that we are way past the holidays we can start looking at the world in a new light. The light of love!
In our day to day world it’s easy to get overwhelmed by negative energies. When we start tuning in each day to the love and light of God we start to see the world and a different way. This is what this new Moon is all about. This New Moon helps you see how your light sparkles into the world and what a difference you can make.
New moons are always about planting new beginnings and this Moon is urging us to plant love and hope back into the world. New moons are always optimistic. It is a time to cleanse your spiritual and emotional self. When you do a cleansing you are making room for new opportunities and growth in your life.
If you do any type of ceremony or ritual for the New Moon make sure you send out the message of love, God’s Light, and hope. New moon rituals are perfect for planting new seeds and starting afresh. We are essentially working on the blank canvas of the dark moon where our ideas can gestate in the new moon soil. These thought-seeds are slowly awoken by the growing crescent moon as the day’s progress towards the illumination of the full moon. The darkness of the new moon gives peace and tranquility while our seed intentions slowly take root and sustenance form the fertile earth below. This period cannot be rushed and it is a great time to have some quiet dark-moon time to compose our goals and plans for the month ahead. Any wishes made at this time carry great force.
It’s not always easy to love people especially when there filled with negative energies. This will be a New Moon that challenges you to rise above your personal feelings.
This is your opportunity to advance your soul growth. Do not let this moment pass you by. It is easy to say that I will do it tomorrow or the next day or the next day, and soon you will discover that ten years have gone behind you, and you will wonder what you did with your life during that time.
I love the work that I do and sharing my messages through articles and videos is my way of giving back to the world. I know that many of you look forward to what I write and what I will come up with in a video. It does take time and it is an act of love to do this type of work. So think about it – what can you do to send out the love vibration to the world. Each one of us is capable of doing it if we make that our intention for this New Moon.
With the energy of the New Moon and the good fortune of the Pig it’s a perfect time to create abundance. Here is one of my favorite exercises on creating abundance in your life.
Abundance Check Ritual for the New Moon
Writing an Abundance Check is an exercise you can use to create more abundance in your life and the check is to be written within 24 hours after each New Moon. It is not necessary to put a date on the check and you DO NOT write a specific dollar amount on the check. Then put the check away in a safe place and forget about it. The Universe will take over from there.
Clean and shine the diamond of your soul and let that light shine before everyone, so that people wonder as you pass by-what it was that just touched their soul.
New Moon Blessings,
Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
Calling the Light to Aid You
FEBRUARY 12, 2023 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN
From the moment we exist, good spirits watch over us. Over time, the good intentions of all those who love us evolve along with us into an intelligent guardian spirit. This lights-witch spell draws electricity to recharge this connection every time you use a light switch.
Use a gold glass marker to draw a pentacle on each light switch in your home. Then anoint each switch with sesame essential oil and repeat the following blessing for each room:
From womb to grave; life, with me
weave, bound as we are to each other.
Be kindness and mercy reflected
through me, drawn upon the
light; let’s work together.
I seek to understand. I am ready
to listen. I can see your perspective
from within any light that glistens.
So mote it be.
Spell for Balance
FEBRUARY 11, 2023 BY CERRIDWEN IRIS SHEA
Eleven is considered a master number, connected to enlightenment and balance. Today is perfect for a balance spell. Gather these items:
- A candle of any color in a glass jar/votive holder (I like yellow.)
- Calm music
- A yoga mat (optional)
Light the candle. Listen to the music for a few minutes, following your breath.
Pinpoint where your life is out of balance. Imagine what is out of balance on one side of a scale. Put yourself on the other side of the scale. Visualize the two sides evening out, so they are in balance. Hold this image for at least five breaths.
Embody the balance by doing your favorite yoga balancing pose, such as Tree, Dancer, or Crow. Hold the pose as long as it feels good.
Release the pose and extinguish the candle. Repeat the ritual any time you feel out of balance, visualizing the balance of eleven.
Spell for a New True Friend
FEBRUARY 10, 2023 BY MAT AURYN
With the Sun in Aquarius and the Moon in Libra today, this is the perfect time to cast a spell for friendship. When I was a child, we would wear friendship bracelets as a sign of our bond. In this spell you will be braiding three different colored pieces of yarn of your choice to make a bracelet. One yarn represents you, another represents your future friend you are summoning, and the third represents the friendship. Braid the pieces together while reciting and focusing on the intent of these words:
I draw a friendship near to me,
One that’s built on sincerity.
A friend who cares, a friend who shares,
A friend who always treats me fair.
A friendship that isn’t superficial,
One that is mutually beneficial.
A friend with motives that are pure,
A solid friendship that will endure.
Tie the braided friendship bracelet comfortably on your left ankle until it comes off on its own. Be open to meeting new people.
Finding Strength in a Tree
FEBRUARY 09, 2023 BY JAMES KAMBOS
In the winter when the trees are leafless, their beauty and strength are more visible. That’s when you can see their power and majesty. To increase your own strength, form a pact with a tree. Follow the instructions in the following verse:
Walk into the winter wood,
Where bare trees sleep and brood.
Select a tree majestic and great.
Now you each have a shared fate.
With this tree your strength is bound.
Leave a gift—a crumb, a seed,
or a rock you’ve found.
As the seasons turn and pass,
Your strength will grow and last.
Return to your tree from time to time. Touch it. Thank it. Be grateful for its presence in your life. If for some reason the tree is destroyed, create a bond with another tree.
Clean Out Your Social Media
FEBRUARY 08, 2023 BY JASON MANKEY
Let’s get in the spirit of spring cleaning and bring it to our electronic devices and social media accounts. Throughout the year we collect and store lots of things on our phones, computers, tablets, etc. Whether it’s unopened files on your laptop or just a slew of random friends you don’t know or haven’t connected with in a while, now is the perfect time to clear out all the digital clutter that has no room in your life anymore.
Spend a couple of hours today sifting through your old files, knowing that you are getting rid of things that have no relevance to your life anymore. Thank them for the memories or purposes they once served and then delete them. As you clear out the unwanted clutter, say, “Be gone!” or “Thank you for you for your service,” or whatever is appropriate. When you are done, burn some clearing incense and welcome in a fresh start!
Cosmic Influence Shield
FEBRUARY 07, 2023 BY DEVIN HUNTER
The Moon is in Virgo today and our insecurities may be getting the best of us. While usually I am a fan of working with the energies afforded to us by the movement of heavenly bodies, sometimes these energies can stir up unwanted thoughts and emotions. If you are feeling insecure, overwhelmed, or even incapable right now, it could very well be related to the current placement of the Moon. Cast this spell to temporarily shield yourself from these effects.
Visualize yourself standing on top of a six-foot-wide pentacle of white light. Say:
I call upon the Earth, my
home, to shield and protect
me from the Virgo Moon!
Take a few deep breaths and visualize the light that shines from beneath you morph into a chrysalis of crystallized light, then say:
Let the will of the Earth be
victorious over all others!
Break a Bad Habit Spell
FEBRUARY 06, 2023 BY EMBER GRANT
There are several ways to carry out this spell to break a bad habit. The point is to write the habit you wish to break on an object that you can literally shatter. One easy way to do this is by using craft clay, which is easily found in craft stores or online. There are many types that air-dry and don’t need to be baked. Just form a portion of clay into a thin piece that’s large enough for you to write your bad habit on using a toothpick. Let it dry completely, then break it and throw away the pieces.
You can also perform this spell by writing on a rock and breaking it with a hammer. However, if you do this, be sure to work outdoors and wear eye protection. Another option is to use an old plate. Again, be careful and watch for flying shards. You may wish to put the object in a plastic bag before breaking it. The act of literally breaking something can be very satisfying and empowering.
Heartwings Love notes 1071 Valentine’s Day Thoughts
Heartwings says, “Love can be expressed in many ways; what is important is to express it.”
Until recently, whenever I could, since I was a small child, I crafted my Valentine’s Day cards. It gave me great pleasure. I had and still have a few lacey paper hearts, stickers with cupids and similar valentine symbols, and other appropriate decorations. I’d fold plain paper in quarters and glue these down, arranging them in fun patterns and writing humorous or sentimental words inside. Alas, I no longer have the time or energy to do this. I do, however have access to a wonderful card program that I enjoy using, so I still have a good resource.
As a young child I looked forward to Valentines’ Day at school. Cookies in the form of hearts were often served and the big red and white crepe paper covered box to be filled with simple cards was placed prominently on the teacher’s desk. Later on, when I had my own children, I helped them make their cards and mail them to grandmothers and aunts, as well as prepare cards for classmates.
The sentimentality of Valentine’s Day has of course been commercialized like other holidays, yet somehow for me that does not detract from it as the excess around Christmas can. I enjoy the displays of hearts and candy, and I’m happy I don’t have to endure endless Valentine carols. It is interesting to note that Valentine’s Day has a long history of celebration behind it.
During this month in pre-Christian times the Greeks honored Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty on the 6th, as well as Hygeia, goddess of health and healing on February 26th. Artemis, creatrix, midwife and protector of the young was honored from the 7th to the 9th, and Diana had a Roman festival on the 12th day of the month. Februata, the Roman Goddess of love for whom the month is named, signifies the fever of love. Our Valentine’s Day celebration is a modern dedication to love compiled from customs taken from the original celebrations of these times, filtered through the attempts of the Roman Catholic Church to Christianize them.
Traditional says St. Valentine (apparently there were several of them and no one is quite sure which one is referred to by this story) began the making of Valentines by sending around heart shaped leaves with messages on them. Prior to this the Romans celebrated a holiday where young men and women would draw names to see who might pair with whom for the festival they were celebrating. The Roman Catholic Church tried to take over this custom by substituting the names of saints for partners, however, their version never really caught on.
Valentine cards began being made and sent in the eighteen hundreds and Valentine postcards arose in the early part of the twentieth century and were extremely popular as well. Many of these are now collectors’ items, fetching high prices on Ebay. Whether you make or buy your Valentine cards, you are continuing a tradition that has spread joy and happiness for many years.
May you celebrate the day with those you love, whether near or far, and do it with joy.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert
PS How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you or have you made cards as a child? Do write and tell me what you do for the day to celebrate love, I so enjoy hearing from readers. You can write to me by hitting reply or at Tashahal@gmail.com.
The Power Of Transmutation
Adding a violet flame meditation once in a while to your daily practice is a lovely way to feel a fresh sense of peace.
The violet flame is a powerful tool anyone can use in meditation. It helps release negative karma, raise your consciousness awareness, the frequency of your vibration, and accelerate your spiritual growth. Energy can’t be erased but it can be changed, transmuting negative into positive, darkness into light. This allows you to make the choices you feel negatively about become positive, while also changing your emotional experience. Physically, the violet flame releases emotions and energy pent up within that make you vulnerable to illness and disease.
The violet flame in meditation uses a combination of affirming thoughts and visualization. Once centered, begin by surrounding yourself with white-and-blue protective energy. You may even want to call on archangel Michael for his protection while you go into this powerful spiritual state. Then repeat thoughts such as “I am cleansed and purified by the violet flame.” Picture a huge bonfire before you, its immensity making you feel small beside it, and marvel as the colors flicker between purple, violet, and bright pink. Sense its warmth while noticing that it will not burn you. Step into the flame, letting it surround you entirely while also filling the spaces in your body, your thoughts, even the cells and molecules within you. Once there, focus on the positive things you’d like to create in your life or your hopes for others. Visualize the violet flame in the midst of the scenes as they unfold in your mind. You may want to ask that the power of the flame be multiplied to assist those in need.
When you have finished your meditation, be sure to close with gratitude. The violet flame is a powerful tool that should be used consciously and with intent. Forgetting to close with thanks keeps you connected and may lead to the unintentional misuse of this energy. It is always a good idea when finished with any spiritual practice to give thanks as this creates closure. Saints and adepts throughout the ages have known how to use the violet flame, but it is available for all to use to raise our awareness and, eventually, that of all mankind.
The Druids Garden
An Exploration of Gratitude Practices and Plant Reverence in Herbal Practices
Please note: This article appeared first in my new column, “Roots, Shoots, and Spirits” in the Winter 2022 issue Plant Healer Quarterly, a magazine for empowered herbalists and culture shifters. Folks can buy a year subscription or sign up for one issue at a time, by going to: http://www.PlantHealerMagazine.com.
As herbalists, everything we use comes from the living earth, from nature herself. And as a basic practice in herbalism, we need to practice gratitude and reverence for the plants that form the basis of our practice. Some herbalists have the luxury of being able to have large gardens full of herbs or wild areas where we can go and spend time with nature, harvesting plant and mushroom medicine in careful and grateful ways. But still more of us depend on others for growing, wildcrafting, and harvesting herbs. The distance between the plant and the use of the plant grows as we seek high-quality, organic ingredients that we cannot find ourselves. As soon as we put a consumer relationship into our herbal practice, this distance can create a sense of disconnection between the plant, the ecosystem where the plant grows, and the medicine we are making. And since we live in a culture full of destructive ideas about nature being at our disposal, humans being able to use nature indiscriminately in any ways we see fit. Growing up in cultures that destroy nature can have the impact of working on our subconscious in ways we don’t even understand.
One of the ways to counter this disconnection is to develop gratitude practices and practice reverence and respect for the living earth. Perhaps you are reading this, and you already have a set of these practices—wonderful! I hope this will give you some additional ideas. Or perhaps you are coming to these practices for the first time. Either way, in this article, we’ll explore the ideas of how we can build gratitude and reverence into herbalism.
Unpacking Gratitude and Reverence
Let’s start by examining some definitions: Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes gratitude as “the state of being grateful; thankfulness.” Gratitude is a positive emotion where we are thankful for what we have, the blessings that nature offers us, and recognize the gifts that nature provides. Gratitude is a powerful tool of connection—it allows us to say to another being—I value you, I respect you, and I am honored with the gifts you provide. Part of what gratitude does with the plant and mushroom kingdom is to provide a basic acknowledgment of their role in our healing, lives, and for many of us, our profession. Gratitude to the plants takes them from an object we harvest to a trusted ally, friend, and companion.
Reverence takes this a step further. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes reverence as”1) honor or respect felt or shown; deference; 2) a gesture of respect (such as a bow); 3) the state of being revered; 4) one held in reverence.” In this case, we can think about our plant teachers, those beings who have been with us for millennia, and say, yes, these beings can literally bring us back from the brink of death, can heal our sore and tired bodies, can keep us in good health, and can help us overcome illness—these beings are deserving of our reverence. They should be honored, respected, and acknowledged for the work that their bodies do and sacrifice on behalf of our bodies.
Building gratitude and reverence into your herbalism practice has substantial health and well-being benefits. For one, it allows you to slow down, it allows you to focus and attune to the work at hand. It helps you be in a more positive state of mind. Some of the latest scientific research shows that gratitude practices build connection to nature (Chen et. al, 2022) and that it has strong links to increasing our well-being (Emmons and Mishra, 2011), and encouraging us to be our best selves (Bono and Sender, 2018). \Thus, when we practice gratitude, not only are we expressing our thanks to the earth that supports our work, but we are also healing and balancing ourselves.
A final area that gratitude and reverence practices can help is by creating a more ethical orientation towards the use of plants. My own ethical system is rooted permaculture, a practice that I am trained in both as a practitioner and teacher. Permaculture is a system of design that uses nature as a guide and teacher; learning how to work with nature and use her principles to design anything from a garden to a whole community. Permaculture’s ethics include earth care—caring for the earth, from individual plants and insects up to the entire larger planet; people care—caring for people, including our friends, family, and community but also the broader peoples of the earth; and fair share—ensuring that we only take what we need. When we pause for a moment of gratitude, of reverence, and of respect, we are taking time to orient ourselves to these three dimensions: I am grateful to the earth for this specific plant harvest (earth care), I am grateful to what this medicine will provide to a person who needs it (people care), and I am only taking what I need (fair share). Thus, gratitude can help us foster more ethical interactions overall.
In my first column in Spring 2023, I shared an animist perspective—the belief that all things on earth, natural or human made, living or object, have spirit and those spirits can be interacted with. If we take this assumption to be true (as it has been for the bulk of humanity prior to the present age and culture), then plants are not just a combination of chlorophyll, roots, stems, leaves, and branches—they also have a metaphysical self and that self is a teacher and a guide. And that metaphysical self also has an impact on the medicine they offer. So, we can learn with them by building relationships to access their deepest medicine and teachings. These principles are well discussed in indigenous communities, such as through the work of Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013) and are also broadly recognized in the present nature spirituality movements, accessible to all peoples.
Herbal Gratitude Practices
Offering gratitude to the oak with an offering Offering gratitude to the oak with an offering
On the most basic level, offering gratitude can be quite simple. You can pause and take a moment to say, “thank you” to whatever plant or mushroom material you are working with. This small acknowledgment is an excellent first step towards a deeper, more integrated gratitude practice.
To take gratitude a step further, you can move to what I call “deep gratitude” This is when one takes small moments to acknowledge all the steps of what nature has provided and to be grateful for those gifts and practice gratitude in daily interactions. By steps, I mean the soil, the rain, the farmers or wild harvesters, the people who packed and sold it to you, the people who moved the plant from the farm to the shelf—all of these can be included in a larger web of gratitude. The practice itself is simple. If you are consuming anything, take a moment for gratitude for not only that thing but that web of interactions. If you eat something, have gratitude. If you purchase something, have gratitude. If you are making an herbal medicine, have gratitude. You want to honor the life or resources that was given (because something is almost always given when we consume). Take a moment to simply express your gratitude and thanks for what nature has provided you.
For example, let’s say you are working to make an elderberry elixir for the upcoming cold and flu season. You purchased organic elderberries at your local food co-op along with the other ingredients to make your elixir: ginger, cinnamon, clove, and honey. Rather than immediately jumping into making it when you get home, take a moment with each of the ingredients. Pause, place your hands over them, and say thanks. Pause also to thank those people who stocked the shelves, transported your ingredients, harvested, and grew your ingredients. Offer gratitude to the land that offered nourishment, water, sunlight, and wind. Take a moment to offer thanks to the cookware you will be using, and the bottles that will hold these things. Thank the water that will be present in the elixir. All of these things were derived from nature and offering your gratitude can be a way of giving back. I’m not saying you need to do this every single time but taking this moment of deep gratitude to acknowledge the interconnected web from which you received your ingredients allows you to have a deeper relationship with all of those and puts you in a better state of mind for creating your elderberry elixir.
I’ve been practicing this deep gratitude for some time now, and it has done a few things for me and my herbal practice. First, I have paid a lot more attention to the steps and ways in which things get to me. Second, this practice continues to affirm the need to source everything as locally as possible (which I already do) so that I can offer my gratitude directly. For example, when I buy honey, I buy it from a local beekeeper. I can take a moment to thank the beekeeper and when I visit to pick up the honey, thank the bees and the blooming flowers that sustain them. Another thing this practice does is offer a more ethical response and a reminder of the ethics I want to live by: I am being reminded of the permaculture triad of earth care, people care, and fair share as I go throughout my day. I’m thinking about these ethical dimensions and drawing attention to both the earth-based and human-based ways in which others have touched me, nourished me, and helped sustain me. I’m focusing on what provides for me: the living earth and those others who are directly involved rather than cultivating loyalty to oppressive systems.. Finally, this practice has created more joy in my life. Rather than rushing through a meal, I take the time to savor it, being grateful for a full belly and the beautiful asparagus from the garden.
Gratitude and Reverence in the Wild Harvest
Gratitude practices can be included in any wild harvesting that you do. Perhaps you have a wild elderberry patch that you go to each year to harvest flowers and berries. The deep gratitude practice could still look similar. Go to the plant and seek permission to harvest. Then, take a moment to thank not only the plant but the broader ecosystem that sustains the plant: the soil web of life, the water in the nearby stream, the air currents bringing carbon dioxide, the insect life that pollinates. Thank the Elderberry plant, the strong roots, the branches, the leaves, and of course, the plump berries. Envision holding the gratitude in your mind and then allowing it to flow from you. This practice takes only a moment or two, but can deepen your connection both to nature, to the plant, and to the specific medicine you are harvesting.
You can grow an herbal blend that you carry with you as part of an offering to wild spaces. For myself, each year I grow plants that are specifically used in my gratitude offering—Apothecary Rose (Rosa Gallica) and Sacred Tobacco (Nicotiana Rustica), seeds of which were gifted to me many years ago, and Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Typhina) harvested in the fall from my land (when they are brilliant red, giving color and life to the blend). This blend I carry in a pouch around my neck, and as I harvest, I first seek permission from the plant and then, either way, offer a pinch in thanks. Each year, I mix a new batch of my herbal offering blend, and I also share it with friends and other practitioners who may be interested in starting up a new gratitude practice.
Gratitude for a wild harvest does not have to be a gesture of thanks but can be something tangible and specific that benefits the plant or the ecosystem. For example, perhaps as part of your gratitude practice you donate money to support riparian zone habitats in your local community—where elderberry grows. Or you show up at a riparian zone planting to help put new trees in the soil and stabilize the riverbanks in your community, putting in the sweat equity to ensure the next generation of elderberry—while also protecting the watershed. Or, you go to your forest where you harvest and pick up trash that is there. Or, you work to teach people about elderberry’s benefits in your local community, so that others also understand what an amazing plant she is and why she should be planted, protected, and honored. Gratitude can be shown through our actions as well as our intent.
Gratitude and Reverence in the Herb Garden
Having an herb garden or having wild spaces that you tend regularly allows for yet another dimension of gratitude. Everything that I shared above can apply, but you can also take gratitude a few steps further in such a setting. This setting can be as large as a ½ acre herb garden or as small as a few pots on your patio. Specifically, having a home space allows you to create permanent spaces where you can offer ceremonies for the plants.
We have many examples of folk traditions where engaging in ceremony and offering were a regular part of daily life of peoples prior to our modern era. In Europe and later North America, for example, Wassailing traditions were common. Wassail, comes from the Anglo Saxon “waes-hael” meaning good health. People would go out to the orchard on the old 12th night (either January 6th or 17th, depending on how you calculate the date), make offerings to a central tree in the orchard, sing songs, and drink cider. Wassail was designed to bring the community together to trees from evil influence and ensure a good harvest. Apples were one of the most important staple crops for both Europe and early colonists in North America, so ceremonial intervention ensured success. Looking to the indigenous traditions of North America, the Mohawks and many other Eastern Indigenous tribes had maple syrup ceremonies to support the maples. Described by George-Kanentioo (2022), the Mohawk gather on the first of their new year, where they gather to offer gratitude to the maple tree and celebrate with dancing, songs, and rituals. These are only two examples of countless ceremonies by many peoples through history with the intent of offering gratitude and working to ensure a good harvest.
Herbal meditation garden Herbal meditation garden
One is by developing specific gratitude and reverence ceremonies around planting, tending, and harvesting in the garden. These, again, can be anything that works for you, that flows from you, and that is heartfelt. In my own herb garden, I do a cycle of ceremonies that are designed to show my respect, gratitude and reverence for the plants. Developing ceremonies and cycles of ceremonies again connects us to our ancient human roots—as all of our ancestors, at some point in history, connected with nature in this way. For me specifically, I do a cycle of ceremonies in my perennial herb garden that are tied to the wheel of the year. At the Spring Equinox (March 21), I do a simple blessing ceremony, welcoming the plants back from their slumber and beginning to clear the dead plant matter from last season to welcome the garden back for the new year (a bit of spring cleaning). I chant to them at Beltane (May 1st) as they are emerging from their long slumber, dancing in the garden and showing my appreciation, adding, compost, liquid gold from my body (diluted urine), and a layer of mulch to help them grow strong. (I will note that your own urine is a good offering, being full of nitrogen. A 10% liquid gold + 90% water mix can be used on plants; if you are peeing directly you want to aim for the roots of trees, where it can sink into the soil). At the Summer Solstice (June 21) and Lughnassadh (August 1), I do much of my harvesting and herbal preparations for the year, engaging in gratitude and ceremonies on these days. Fall Equinox (September 21) is the final harvest and I offer songs and offerings of gratitude. By Samhain (October 31), we’ve had a first hard frost and much of the perennials have died back, so I once again offer gratitude and wish them a good rest. This simple wheel allows a regular interaction with the plants that offer sacred medicine, allowing me to be with them, in ceremony, throughout the cycle of the year.
As part of a larger cycle of gratitude, you may want to dedicate some space for offerings, a focal point for these practices in the garden. I have a simple flat stone that I found on our land, and I placed at the top of one of my perennial beds. I have a second stone, a long and thin standing stone, that is behind the altar. When I harvest from the garden, I can stop here and do a small ceremony for the garden, leaving an offering, pausing to say thanks, or offering a chant or song.
Developing Your Own Gratitude and Reverence Practices
Each of us can develop our own gratitude practices and methods. They don’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Think about how to build them into your life so they become a seamless part. I hope this article has generated some ideas for practices that you might start or deepen. If this is a new idea to you, you can start small and build from there. Simple gratitude practices can include some of what I shared above: a song, a chant, a thanks, or even an herbal offering blend. A harvest song of thanks, a few notes from a small flute or drum, or even a bit of a dance from the heart can all be welcome offerings. More elaborate practices may be developing a specific herbal blend with plant allies, developing a set of ceremonies of gratitude and blessing for your garden or broader landscape, or even building something like an herbal wassail into your work each year.
Practicing gratitude is a personally transformational practice. It encourages you to slow down, pause, and be grateful. Being grateful makes things more meaningful, richer, and more connected, which leads to a richer experience in the here and now. It helps ground you in the moment and helps re-aligns our minds and hearts with the living earth. But it also sets up a model of more earth-centered interactions that can be shared with herbal students, clients, and community members. It allows us to recognize the inherent sanctity and respect that is due to all life on this beautiful planet, a planet that offers us so much healing and life.
As we cultivate our life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are creating and doing as it is about our appearance.
We tend to associate youth with beauty, but the truth is that beauty transcends every age. Just as a deciduous tree is stunning in all its stages—from its full leafy green in the summer to its naked skeleton during winter and everything in between—human beings are beautiful throughout their life spans.
The early years of our lives tend to be about learning and experiencing as much as we possibly can. We move through the world like sponges, absorbing the ideas of other people and the world. Like a tree in spring, we are waking up to the world. In this youthful phase of life, our physical strength, youth, and beauty help open doors and attract attention. Gradually, we begin to use the information we have gathered to form ideas and opinions of our own. As we cultivate our philosophy about life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are saying, doing, and creating as it is about our appearance. Like a tree in summer, we become full, expressive, beautiful, and productive.
When the time comes for us to let go of the creations of our middle lives, we are like a tree in autumn dropping leaves, as we release our past attachments and preparing for a new phase of growth. The children move on, and careers shift or end. The lines on our faces, the stretch marks, and the grey hairs are beautiful testaments to the fullness of our experience. In the winter of our lives, we become stripped down to our essence like a tree. We may become more radiant than ever at this stage, because our inner light shines brighter through our eyes as time passes. Beauty at this age comes from the very core of our being—our essence. This essence is a reminder that there is nothing to fear in growing older and that there is a kind of beauty that comes only after one has spent many years on earth.
Murder In Grafton Center Part 2
Bob and his wife Juno lived alone on Brigham Hill Road in a restored sprawling three story Victorian surrounded by beautifully designed gardens, a vineyard, and a pond.
A burley man with a ruddy complexion wearing a brown suit stood, arms folded, at the entrance. He nodded politely as Jess, Sherry, Susan, and Rita went in. Then he turned and looked hard at me and Juice.
“Spencer and Juice, isn’t it?” He frowned. ” Inspector R.T. Mallory, Grafton PD.”
I asked if I could see the crime scene report.
Mallory’s face got even ruddier. “Medical Examiner called it a massive coronary. Appropriate, considering his age and all the weight he carried around.”
Juice asked about an autopsy.
“Not my department,” Mallory growled, “Just to play it safe, Chief’s conducting a thorough investigation.”
Jenkins and West from Boston Police Headquarters along with Samson from the State Police pulled up in Jenkins’ cruiser. “You taking this all right?” West asked me. “You two go back a ways.”
“As well as anyone. It’s still hard to believe.”
Jenkins eyed Mallory. “Autopsy? CSI?”
“You guys’ sound like a broken record.” He straightened his shoulders. “Like I told Spencer, Chief’s in charge.”
“Got a precise time of death?” West asked.
Mallory shifted from one foot to the other. “He was dead by the time the ambulance arrived. His wife got back around one thirty, and called it in.” He looked sincere. “I appreciate how you guys feel, but let it rest.”
“Can’t.” West said. “We’re cops remember.”
Mallory sighed. “This is a good town. People here are decent, honest, God fearing, not like the riff raft you deal with in Boston. I don’t want any of you intruding on their bereavement.”
“No problem.” Jenkins said.
A slender, youthful African American policewoman approached Mallory. “What’s it now Bopp?” He sighed.
“Both adjacent fields are full up, Inspector. Best to divert any more vehicles.” She gave Juice a long look.
“Take care of it.” He snapped.
We went in. Bob’s wife Juno hadn’t aged a day since I’d seen her at their housewarming fifteen years ago. She still had the lithe, taut figure of a ballerina and a face reminiscence of an angel painted on fine Bavarian porcelain.
She sat in an upholstered antique armchair in a corner of their living room. Beside her on a small pink marble topped table were a faux antique French style phone and a box of Kleenex.
“Spencer,” She clutched my hands. “Thank you so for coming. You were practically his son. You know that?”
“I’m so sorry.”
She clutched a small ball of tissue. “If only I’d gotten back sooner. Maybe it might have made a difference.” She dabbed at her eyes. “But after Yoga I stopped by Patience’s for lunch.”
Susan joined us. “Mind if I take a quick look at his office?”
Juno nodded sadly. “Of course!” She shuddered. “And knowing him, his spirit’s probably there reading proofs on his monitor.” She burst into tears. Susan consoled her and waved me away.
The house was jammed with affluently dressed somber people. There was an open bar and a caterer had put out a spread of finger food, smoked fish and cheeses. I noticed Rita, the celebrated attorney, chatting up a gubernatorial candidate. Jenkins, West, and Samson stood together nursing what looked like small glasses of cordial. I joined them.
“Taste this.” Jenkins handed me his glass.
“I heard that Bob and his neighbor, Ernie Dickens invented it,” West said. “They call it Honey Acorn Cordial.”
“Delicious,” Samson said. “Isn’t this a banner year for acorns?”
It tasted a little sweet to me but l liked its nutty flavor. Even a few sips packed a wallop.
I went downstairs into the dimly lit basement. The door to Bob’s office was ajar. The room was dark. As I searched for the light switch, I stumbled forward and landed atop a soft body.
“You fell for me,” a woman slurred.
Then I felt a slight breeze as someone I couldn’t see passed by me and left the room.
I pushed away and sat up. Then I tried to help her up but she had other ideas and slid backwards trying to pull me back down alongside her. I helped her sit up and her arms locked around me like I was a buoy in the mid Atlantic.
Her coughing inundated me in fumes of gin.
“Someone else in here with you just now?”
“Just us,” she giggled. “Why? You like crowds?”
I found a lamp and lit the room. The woman was short, stout, dowdy and very drunk. She was overweight and wore an unbecomingly tight black silk suit.
“Who are you?” I noticed that Bob’s computer was still on.
She wiggled a stubby finger at me. “I’m Patience Worthington.” She sounded aristocratic. “Who you?”
She patted my leg. “Fox trot or waltz? My you are one wild hunk of a man. Ever play for the Pats?”
I noticed a thick gold wedding bad. “No, but back in the day I boxed. Is your husband a hunk too?”
“Oh, do I wish.” she sighed. “No, he’s an egghead; Dean of the Vertebrate Department at the Vet School.” She smiled coyly. “Lamar knows absolutely everything about backbones but zilch about me. Let’s go get a little drinky.”
“Haven’t you had enough?”
She laughed. “In this house there’s no such thing as enough.”
(To be continued)
Can Cocoa Benefit Your Brain?
~ANDREW WEIL, M.D.
I’ve read that drinking cocoa can help you think faster and better. What is it about cocoa that could have this effect?
It is true that a study from the UK showed that drinking cocoa enriched with flavanols – a class of antioxidant compounds found in fruits and vegetables – can speed thinking and help people address and complete certain mental tasks more efficiently than they would otherwise.
The study’s lead author, Catarina Rendeiro, Ph.D. of the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, explained that while her team used cocoa, flavanols occur in a wide range of fruits and vegetables. By better understanding the cognitive benefits of consuming these foods, she said, “We can offer improved guidance to people about how to make the most of their dietary choices.”
For the study, 18 healthy men age 18 through 40 took part in a procedure designed to challenge the brain’s blood circulation. This involved breathing five percent carbon dioxide – about 100 times the normal concentration in air – which produces an effect called hypercapnia.
Each of the men was subjected to this procedure before and after consuming cocoa on two occasions. On one of the two occasions, the drink was enriched with flavanols. Following the carbon dioxide challenge, the participants were asked to complete a series of complex cognitive tests.
The researchers found that the men who drank the flavanol-enriched cocoa had the highest levels of blood oxygenation, up to three times that of those who consumed the non-flavanol-enriched drink. And the volunteers who performed best on the cognitive tests were those who consumed the flavanol-enriched drink. On average these men completed the tests 11 percent faster.
Dr. Rendeiro noted that when you’re being mentally challenged, your brain needs improved blood oxygen levels. Her study suggests that flavanols might be particularly beneficial during cognitively demanding tasks. However, a small group of participants didn’t derive any cognitive benefit from the flavanol-enriched drink. (They had high levels of brain oxygenation responses to start with that weren’t increased by drinking the enriched cocoa.)
“This may indicate that some individuals, that perhaps are already very fit, have little room for further improvement,” Dr. Rendeiro said.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Catarina Rendeiro et al “Dietary flavanols improve cerebral cortical oxygenation and cognition in healthy adults,” Scientific Reports, November 24, 2020
Can Cats Eat Chocolate? What to Know About Cats and Chocolate Toxicity
By Jackie Brown
If you have a dog, you probably know that chocolate is very toxic to our canine friends. But what about cats and chocolate? Can cats eat chocolate? Is chocolate toxic to cats, too? The answer, as it turns out, is pretty complicated.
- First off, can cats eat chocolate?
Chocolate and cats is a complicated topic. Photography ©cunfek | iStock / Getty Images Plus.
“If ingested, chocolate can cause gastrointestinal [distress], such as vomiting and diarrhea, and increased heart rates,” says Stephanie Demarco, DVM, of VCA Kirkwood Animal Hospital in Newark, Delaware. “However, if enough chocolate is ingested, it can lead to much more serious problems, such as seizures, coma and death. So, yes, chocolate is toxic to cats.
- Cats aren’t likely to eat chocolate, though.
“Luckily, cats don’t have a sweet tooth like dogs do, so it is less commonly seen than in dogs,” Dr. Demarco explains. Cats lack a taste receptor for “sweet”— they literally cannot taste sweet substances. This makes cats and chocolate an unlikely combination. Unlike your dog, your kitty is highly unlikely to scarf down your candy bar or sample a pan of brownies cooling on the counter.
- Two components in chocolate are dangerous to cats.
The stimulants theobromine and caffeine pose no risk to humans, but can cause serious problems in both dogs and cats.
- Some types of chocolate are worse for cats.
The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is, which means it contains more theobromine. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolates are the worst for cats to ingest, but semi-sweet and milk chocolates can cause issues in large enough quantities. White chocolate poses no risk (white chocolate contains only trace amounts of theobromine and caffeine).
Types of chocolate from most (the worst chocolate for cats) to least toxic for cats:
Unsweetened dry cocoa powder
Dark chocolate (above 60 percent cacao)
White chocolate (white chocolate is not a problem, as it contains none of the dangerous methylxanthines found in true chocolate products)
- If your cat ingests chocolate, seek veterinary treatment immediately.
When it comes to cats and chocolate, the seriousness of the situation depends on how much and what type of chocolate your kitty ate. “The best thing to do is get medical advice from your veterinarian,” Dr. Demarco advises. “You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline [888-426-4435] to see if the amount and type of chocolate ingested needs medical treatment.”
- Whatever you do, don’t try to induce vomiting at home.
Although inducing vomiting is commonly recommended for dogs who ingest certain toxins, inducing your cat to vomit is risky. “At no point should you try to make your cat vomit,” Dr. Demarco says. “It may not be necessary or recommended, or it may even be considered dangerous, depending on the situation.” Always consult a veterinarian if you think your cat has ingested something toxic.
- Err on the side of caution and keep chocolate — and any candy — away from your cat.
Even though cats are unlikely to eat sugary treats, it’s best to keep chocolate and other candy safely out of reach, especially around kittens, who are more likely to experiment and eat weird things.
A note on xylitol and cats
Xylitol isn’t in chocolate, but it is in things like sugar-free gum and candy. Cats aren’t likely to eat sweets, but if they do, the good news is that xylitol is not toxic to cats. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs though, so if you have a dog who ingests a product containing xylitol, seek immediate veterinary treatment.
Georgia Nicols Weekly Horoscope : Sunday, February 12, 2023
It’s Valentines on Tuesday, which begins in an upbeat way but could shrivel into petty arguments by the end of the night. Wednesday is dreamy and romantic. Thursday is productive; while Friday and Saturday are energetic times to socialize! “Let’s pop some bubbly!” (Some might schedule Valentine’s festivities for the weekend, when the vibes are better.) Meanwhile, this week the Sun moves into Pisces to stay for four weeks, which makes us more sensitive and altruistic. Pisces loves light spectacles, music and mood enhancers. We will dream of future possibilities and “what ifs,” like what if I lost twenty pounds, meditated three hours a day, jogged seven miles, learned Hebrew, Tibetan and Swahili, gave up meat, dairy, flour and sugar? (Not alcohol, of course.)
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Right now, your personal year (birthday to birthday) is ending. However, your new year won’t begin until your birthday arrives. This means the next four weeks are an “in between” time, a bit like limbo. (You’re all dressed up with no place to go.) This is why many of you will choose to keep a low profile and work alone or behind the scenes. It’s a good time to reflect about the kind of signals you send out to the world. Many of us send out two signals: what we think are trying to do versus what we are actually doing, which can confuse others. This is a good time to check out childhood behaviour patterns that might surface because we all revert to childish behavior at times. This is the perfect month to take stock. How well are you doing at the art of living?
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
You’re entering a popular four weeks ahead! Not only will you enjoy the company of good friends, you will also be involved more than usual with groups and organizations. As you enjoy this increased interconnection with others, you might examine the role these people play in your life. To a large extent, your friends are a reflection of who you are. Think of this as you become involved with team efforts. Look around you. Are these your people? Your idealism is also aroused, which is why you might give more thought to your future goals and what you want to achieve. What would you like to do? What do you want to accomplish?
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Once a year the Sun sits at the top of your chart for four weeks. That time has arrived. This means now is the time to turn your attention to your career, your role in society, and your standing and reputation in your community. For starters, examine the direction that your life is going. Are you headed where you want to go? Meanwhile, the symbolism of the Sun at the top of your chart is that you are in the limelight more than usual, and this light is flattering! Therefore, people will approach you and ask you to take on increased responsibilities because they see you as capable and competent. Fear not, you won’t have to do anything special to impress them. Good lighting is everything!
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Your desire to travel, get further education and training, or do anything to enhance and enrich your life will be strong in the next four weeks because you want to broaden your horizons in any way possible. Take up a new study. Perhaps a new hobby or an intellectual discipline? Go somewhere where you can learn something. Travel will be rewarding and satisfying at this time. Some of you might be more involved with the law. You might also have an increased interest in metaphysical, religious and spiritual ideas. Do anything that gives you a broader perspective on your world.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
The next four weeks will be more passionate and intense than usual. Perhaps you will deal with inheritances or money from another source or money from the government. You might have an increased focus on taxes and insurance issues. Discussions about shared property might come up. Loans and mortgages might be a focus. You might also notice that deep compulsions seem to surface leading to behaviour that you don’t understand. Basically, you have a stronger desire now to experience life on a feeling level, and not just in an abstract intellectual way. You might attract a powerful person to you who triggers some psychological self-inquiry within you. (Wow.)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
For the next four weeks, the Sun is opposite your sign. This happens only once a year, and when it does, it gives you a chance to learn more about yourself through your one-to-one relations with others. Examine these relationships, especially marriages as well as professional partnerships. It’s time to think about whether or not your partner is filling your needs? Meanwhile, for your own benefit, you must be as good for your partner as he or she is for you. In addition, because the Sun is your source of energy and symbolically, it is now as far away from your sign as it can get all year – you will be more tired. You will want more sleep and daytime naps (if you can do this). This is also a good time to consult experts about something.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
For whatever reason, (according to the personal details of your life), you’ve decided it’s time to pull your act together. This is why you will use the next four weeks to manage your life better. You will work hard to do what needs to be done because you’re ready to turn over a new leaf and be as efficient and productive as possible. This high standard will extend to your health as well, which is why many of you might go on a diet, begin a new exercise regime or do what you can to be the best version of yourself. You might find you have to work on behalf of someone else during this time. It’s just what’s happening.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You are powerful, disciplined and playful! You will be pleased to know that the next four weeks are one of the best windows in the entire year when you can do what you want and set your own priorities. Enjoy amusing recreations, time out with friends, sports events and fun activities with kids. In particular, you will love movies, the theatre and the arts because you want to have a good time! Your attitude toward your relationships will be lighter and more fun-loving. Romance will be rewarding. Very timely for Valentine’s week!
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
This is the time of year when your concerns about your personal private life will be important. You will enjoy cocooning at home. You will also enjoy being more involved with family, relatives and parents. Family discussions will be significant. However, many of you will also choose to go off by yourself and contemplate your navel because this is the classic time for self-evaluation, especially in terms of thinking about how your childhood and your family affected who you are today. Perhaps they set an example? Perhaps they were cautionary tale? Either way, you might see patterns of behaviour that you exhibit that are related to your past.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You will notice that the pace of your days will accelerate in the next four weeks because suddenly, your dance card is full! Short trips, errands, appointments, visits with other people (especially siblings and relatives) plus increased reading, writing and studying will all combine to give you a busy schedule. You will like this busyness because you’re eager to learn new things, see new places and meet new faces. It’s a good time to take a course. Study something new! It’s also a good time to slip away on a vacation because you are curious about your surroundings. Enjoy!
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Money and your personal belongings will become a stronger focus for you in the next four weeks. You will notice this in practical terms. However, at a more subtle level, you will also have the opportunity to examine your relationship to the things you own and the money you earn. Does your wealth and your assets serve your needs? Or are you becoming a slave to what you own through maintenance, cleaning, storage and protection. Sometimes we are a victim of our possessions. For that matter, when you think about it more deeply, what do you really value? One thing is certain: you want to feel that you have greater control of your life through what you own.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The Sun is in your sign for the next four weeks. This is great news! It happens only once a year and when it occurs, it is your chance to recharge yourself so to speak for the year to come. Without doubt, you will be able to project your personality with more force and energy, which means this will be an excellent time to make a great impression on others. Not only that, you will attract favourable circumstances and important people to you. Yes, you’re hot! Personally, you will feel a strong need to express yourself. This is just fine. This is one of those times when your first duty is to yourself and if you don’t fulfil that duty, you will be of little use to anyone.
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Weekly Horoscopes Beginning Sunday, 12 February 2023
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:
Important, and contentious, as certain issues are, think carefully about who’s actually making decisions and the impact of the results. You may be better off discussing your views with those in charge, then focusing on a range of less exciting but, ultimately, inescapable dilemmas. The good news? Once these are dealt with, you’ll be free to focus on those activities and individuals who matter most in your life.
A partner is hoping for a good outcome to a situation that concerns you both. There has been no movement here for some time and now that one of you has taken the initiative, you will hopefully find a way to move forward together and not apart as you had been concerned about. Self-discipline, confidence and faith in yourself will be needed if you take up a new career opportunity. This isn’t something you should rush into.
On Thursday, and for the final time in three decades, the Sun and Saturn align in an area of your solar chart associated with affiliations and groups. You may be asked to take on a position of authority. You’ve perhaps been avoiding this over the last couple of years. Pluto will shortly leave the career zone of that same chart, and it is perhaps time to think about your position within groups and what your legacy should be. It would be unsurprising if this week – along with the romantic thoughts that come with Valentine’s Day, – if you didn’t give thought to how best to position yourself within your industry. To that end, you might consider a meeting with a career adviser or at least discuss with a good friend how you could best advance your long-term aims and ambitions.
Personal theme: I have!!
Earth & fixed sign: April 20 — May 20
Your horoscope for this week:
Unsettling as recent changes in circumstances were, they’ve freed you to reorganise arrangements you’ve been struggling with. Respond swiftly, stating your intentions. Then retreat and review your objectives in detail. Discuss these with those whose wisdom you respect, since certain matters are more complicated than you realise. Once everything’s clear, have one final discussion with everybody concerned, then take action swiftly. You won’t regret it.
Recent events have changed the way you view a relationship and how you feel about and relate to each other. You might realise you’ve been expecting too much from a partner since you have got closer and instead of cementing bonds, this seems to have caused more arguments. Some people are more compatible as friends than lovers and this could be such a relationship. If you aren’t able to reach a compromise, you will eventually be going your separate ways.
Saturn will shortly leave the apex of your solar chart. This week, joined by Mercury in that same zone, giving thought to your ambitions would be wise as on Thursday, the Sun and Saturn align in this area for the last time in nearly three decades. It’s arguably important that you give thought to exactly what you’ve achieved over the last couple of years, and whether or not this has met your expectations. There is every likelihood that your career is about to go off at a tangent in ways that are presently unimaginable. With Pluto’s arrival in Aquarius, reconsidering your position will be necessary. Whilst true, you could be preoccupied by romantic matters (certainly for the first half of this week), it would be as well to give thought to your expertise and how it could best be marketed. It’s entirely possible that certain individuals are completely unaware of your talents and experience and time to review your CV.
Personal theme: I think!!
Air sign: May 21 — June 20
Your horoscope for this week:
Certain decisions may seem urgent. However, judging by the current planetary setup, you’re better off exploring your options and, equally, chatting with those who’re more expert on the matters in question than you are. This won’t just be informative; it will so alter your perspective that you’ll realise you’ve lots more to learn. Next? State your intentions clearly, but ensure any arrangements you make are flexible.
Someone who was in a position of power has made some bad decisions. They may not be in charge now but their mistakes need to be rectified. Others might start to look to you to figure out where, how and why it all went wrong. Once this has been exposed, you will have a better idea on what to do about it. Working behind the scenes could prove to be profitable, later in the week. You might find yourself joining forces with someone whose background is very different from your own.
For the final time in the best part of three decades, the Sun and Saturn align in another of the Air signs, Aquarius: marking a moment to take stock. Of course, you won’t be the only sign doing this. In your case it really is about expertise and qualifications. Given that in a few short weeks Saturn will begin its transit over the career point of your solar chart, it is arguably time to assess where you’re at and what training could be improved. It might also be the case that you now have knowledge to impart. Don’t underestimate your teaching skills. Nor, should you underestimate your ability to persuade others or support them as they follow new career paths. Though there may be love distractions at the start of the week, by its close, your career is high-profile. Anticipate that others will want to talk about your plans for the next decade. Even if these are at best sketchy, it would be a good idea to run through possibilities.
Personal theme: I feel!!
Water & cardinal sign: June 21 — July 22
Your horoscope for this week:
You’re in the midst of a tricky period. True, it’s essential you make others aware of your intentions, for now and, equally, for the future. However, with the foundation of plans shifting, often to your benefit, you want to ensure others understand changes are inevitable. Certain individuals will offer advice. Thank everybody, but accept guidance only from those you know are better informed than you are.
A relationship isn’t working as you had hoped it would. The longer you spend together, the longer you are delaying the inevitable. Moving on and pursuing a new love would be best for you both. You are in touch with your feelings but this isn’t a situation that is bringing emotional fulfilment or stability. In fact, it constantly depletes your energy. A partner has already detached themselves and they aren’t going to change their ways to suit you.
Thoughts might be on romance at the start of the week, but on business partnerships by its close. The Sun and Saturn align in Aquarius for the final time in almost three decades. Over the last couple of years, you’ve presumably learned the value of good and lasting working relationships. Now you may be ready to invest in one. As Pluto leaves your opposite sign next month, upheaval in close unions is to be expected. This could bring with it an amazing working opportunity. Yes, it likely means working with those from very different cultures to your own. For some, it might also involve long-distance travel. What’s important is building on your network and specifically, learning more about how an established team has worked and how it can negotiate upheaval next month. In this, you could yet become a key player.
Personal theme: I will!!
Fire & fixed sign: July 23 — August 22
Your horoscope for this week:
Between last week’s unsettling Leo Full Moon and this Thursday’s run-in between your ruler the Sun and tough Saturn, you’re facing a series of tricky situations. While they’ll require patience and deft handling, they could lead to breakthroughs in troublesome issues you thought you’d just have to live with. The secret? Say or do whatever is necessary, then back off and let destiny deal with the rest.
A new boss or business partner will have a different way of running things. Their methods may not match up to your idea of the needs of the job. Although you could say something immediately, why not give them a little more time before launching into any real criticism? An agency that is overstretched and does not have enough resources needs a big fund-raising push and will appeal for volunteers. You have the skills to be able to make an important contribution to this effort.
It could fit easily feel as though others are talking at you but not listening. They may be asking you to take responsibility for all that’s happened in the last couple of years. On Thursday, the Sun and Saturn align in your opposite sign for the last time in three decades; and yes, this is a defining moment. Of course, there is bound to be some wistfulness and even regret. Yet you cannot carry the weight of all that’s occurred. The art is in agreeing a graceful ending if that’s what you want, or improving the situation so that responsibility is shared. Ahead of Pluto’s arrival in your opposite sign at the end of March, frank exchange of views would be wise. This doesn’t have to be dogmatic, but does need to be planned. It may be that a career adviser could help you negotiate this hurdle.
Personal theme: I analyse!!
Earth sign: August 23 — September 22
Your horoscope for this week:
Usually you’re the first to spot, and find solutions for, potentially troublesome dilemmas. Now, suddenly, certain matters need fast action. While some are clearcut, others are as unexpected as they are sudden. Yet they’re all urgent. The secret? Get those who’ve experience with these involved, take their suggestions seriously, then move swiftly. Also, be aware these are the first of a series of timely, if not overdue, changes.
It will take time to understand new routines or to get used to technical devices that are being introduced to the work scene. Arguments will revolve around how to make the best of changes that are unwanted by many. Eventually the atmosphere will lighten as everyone settles into and starts to accept their new responsibilities. If your living conditions are starting to get you down, think about relocating to a more appropriate area.
Coinciding neatly with Valentine’s Day, Venus and Neptune align in your opposite sign. This suggests visionary thinking, and yes, a degree of wistfulness and possibly even regret. While this has most obvious connotations in your personal life, it could be that there are career regrets too. Recall that throughout 2022, a difficult planetary combination sent a burden of responsibility your way. That period is now coming to an end. Prior to Saturn’s arrival in your opposite sign on March 7, anticipate conversations about how much responsibility you’re willing to carry over the next couple of years. A new title may be in the offing. It’s further possible that before the end of this week you’ll be headhunted, or at least given the chance to consider a career move that would establish you as having authority and experience. You won’t be alone in seeking the counsel of an expert, but in your case, might need someone with experience of drawing up contracts to assist.
Personal theme: I balance!!
Air & cardinal sign: September 23 — October 22
Your horoscope for this week:
Recent surprising changes in the tricky attitude of certain individuals and, equally, in circumstances you’ve been struggling with were as welcome as they were unexpected. True, you must respond, in some cases swiftly. Do exactly that, but avoid discussing far-reaching plans. Changes will continue, and many will be timely. For now, forget about details or finalising arrangements. That can, and should, wait.
A close friend or housemate is not going to change patterns they were allowed to indulge in, as a child. They are used to getting their own way and this kind of attitude means you are always having to forget your own needs in favour of theirs. Why should you always have to try to make them happy when it makes you miserable? If they refuse to change, you may have to walk away. Avoid discussing controversial subjects like politics and religion in the working environment.
For the final time in the best part of three decades, the Sun and Saturn align in another of the Air signs, Aquarius. Though true, all signs will pick up on this conjunction to greater or lesser extent, Libras are likely to experience this as the closing of a chapter. Consider all that’s happened over the last 2 1/2 years. You properly have expertise that you would never have anticipated acquiring. It’s arguably time to review your CV, your social media accounts, your LinkedIn profile or whatever and to move to new platform. To do this, arguably requires advice from a marketing expert. This is something that you could organise. With the strong likelihood that you will be asked to take on a position of considerable authority in the coming weeks, this exercise should prove worthwhile.
Scorpio & Ophiuchus
Personal theme: I desire!!
Water & fixed signs: October 23 — November 21
Your horoscope for this week:
It’s not that you’ve been ignoring tricky situations, many of which influence your way of living, loving or working. With the foundation on which these are based shifting, you’re unsure what’s wise. The secret? Make halfway plans. This way, others will be aware of your thinking and priorities, yet this ensures you’re free to continue to explore the intriguing options promised by the coming weeks’ planetary activity.
Because you have weighed the pros and cons and you still remain uncertain about what you really want, a lot of your decision making will be based on intuition and feelings. What is strange about this is that something is urging you to try things you would normally avoid. This is a defining period for you and it will help you work out where your true passion lies. You’ve got a lot on your plate but you will handle this well.
The sun and Saturn will align at the base of your solar chart for the final time in is best part of three decades; and yes, it could feel as though you’re saying goodbye to the past. You might also recognise that further upheaval will be necessary in the next couple of years. First though, is necessary to tie up loose ends and yes, likely take part in intense space clearing. You may be asked to assist with estate planning or with the distribution of a legacy. Given that the first half of the week could be given over to affairs of the heart, this working task could hit you hard. It might help though to join forces with someone born under Aquarius, who could help you negotiate hurdles that do your mind are insensitive yet need to be tackled before you can move forward.
Personal theme: I see!!
Fire sign: November 22 — December 21
Your horoscope for this week:
True, nothing can undermine the powerful influence of your ruler Jupiter’s position in the portion of your chart that accents life’s joys. However, certain tricky situations and difficult individuals haven’t vanished. Changes are inevitable, often when things seem organised. Plus, the swift pace, in your life and around you, means even simple arrangements will need to be rethought, often more than once. The secret? A flexible attitude.
A new relationship doesn’t seem to be working quite the way either of you had imagined or expected. Romantically, you aren’t drawn to each other but other than this you get on really well. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing; a compromise can be reached. You might agree to maintain a platonic friendship where you both still have your freedom. In the workplace there is a power struggle that really needs to be overcome.
Saturn has been moving slowly through Aquarius and makes its final aspect to the Sun in that sign later on this week. This should mark the end of a period when focus – and reliance – has been on others people’s expertise. At times you may have felt ground down by limitations and regulations. It’s not exactly the case that all will change once Saturn moves into Pisces next month, but highly likely that your position will alter and that others will start to treat you differently. This week they likely need to know how you feel about developments and how you would like your career to progress. Establishing new ground rules appears a major theme. With a probable second revenue stream developing, you might also need to adjust – and announce – a revised schedule to accommodate new responsibilities.
Personal theme: I use!!
Earth & cardinal sign: December 22 — January 19
Your horoscope for this week:
Over the past months you’ve dealt with sudden changes, many as unexpected as they were challenging. Yet, looking back, you’re now recognising how much you’ve learnt from these. Enough you’re rethinking certain plans, for the present but, equally, for the distant future. Still, prepare for yet more timely changes in those plans. Knowing these are coming, you’ll ensure your thinking and the actual arrangements are flexible.
A colleague will admit to having ignored some good advice. They made a big mistake in going their own way and you will respect their need to spend some time reflecting on their decisions. An incident in your neighbourhood will shock many people. An investigation will get underway to determine exactly what has been going on. If you’ve been yearning to move away, you will find a suitable property within your price range.
For the final time in the best part of three decades, the Sun aligns with your ruling planet, Saturn, in Aquarius marking a defining moment for all signs. Together the Sun and Saturn have a reputation for limitation but also for construction. Key decisions should be taken. Through the first half of this week the focus is on design and marketing, but by its close, the accent moves to adapting to a technology that is now free of the bugs that created so many difficulties since last August. Don’t underestimate your ability to grapple with new technology. It’s quite possible you will be seen as having expertise in this area and that this will bring you kudos if not cash reward.
Personal theme: I know!!
Air & fixed sign: January 20 — February 18
Your horoscope for this week:
While there’s an Aquarius New Moon every year, the most recent one was on 21 January, just as Mercury’s retrograde cycle ended. While events were positive, you were juggling so many welcome but sudden changes, you were forced to ignore vital details. The time has come to tackle these. This alone, will clear up most of the minor, but serious issues you’re facing.
Someone has betrayed you and this hurts most because you had trusted them with a secret you have shared with no other. A work contract isn’t worth the paper it is printed on when the other party welches on a deal. Whatever you have worked on so far will seem to be wasted as even to continue on your own, you will have to rebuild again. Trust your intuition when it comes to financial and family matters.
Perhaps you should prepare to celebrate. At the end of this week, the Sun and Saturn align in your sign for the last time in the better part of three decades. This should be a defining moment for all signs, but in your case, marks a most decided shift in energy. The responsibilities and weights of the last few years can now be shouldered more comfortably. With others willing conceding that your ideas have merit, anticipate being asked to join a team or even to take on a position within an association. Another feature is getting to know a creative team whose approach – honed over the last decade -, to your mind requires review. This needn’t result in a clash of wills, but it is likely that lively discussion will ensue.
Personal theme: I believe!!
Water sign: February 19 — March 20
Your horoscope for this week:
As you begin this week, you’ll have far more questions than you do answers, mostly about exciting yet unclear future plans. Actually, the timing is perfect because, ideally, those decisions will wait until after the Pisces New Moon, on 20 February, which ushers in a welcome fresh perspective on existing arrangements and potential future plans. For now? Focus on decluttering. You know exactly what needs to go.
You can’t understand why it is taking so long for a partner to make a decision. You have already made your mind up and you’re hoping they feel the same way but you’re starting to get the impression they aren’t really interested. Your intuition is warning you to prepare for a negative response. A colleague who is battling with issues at home will turn to you for advice. Be sure that is all you give them.
If it feels as though the ground is shifting beneath you, you may well be right. Changes in the air. In a few short weeks, Saturn will arrive in your sign, and new structures will need to be put in place. This week, with the sun’s alignment in Saturn in Aquarius you are neighbouring sign, hint should be aplenty. It’s entirely possible that a colleague is now moving on or planning to do so, and that extra responsibility is headed your way. This is likely not something to be feared is already made been identified that you have a magic touch, and no how to smooth out difficulties. Long-term career planning is always useful, this week though, you could perhaps do with discussions with a mental or health adviser who will help negotiate the challenges of the next couple of years. Identifying these in advance, which surely be helpful.
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