February, the Second Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2017

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When ice melts on the hilly slopes,
The rivers will swell, and begin to grope,
Their winding journey to the sea,
Past open fields where winter’s been.

Past tall trees now bearing leaves,
Past soft grass of vivid green,
Over rocks where snow has been,
The watery convoy heads downstream.

Animals wake from winter sleep,
And from their beds they stiffly creep,
Into the golden springtime sun,
Once more to walk, once more to run.

The sky above, no longer grey,
The sun God sends his golden rays,
As winter retreats and disappears,
And in the woods, the Green Man cheers.

All that live upon this land,

Rejoice to see that winter’s hand,
Has been returned into the past,
For spring is here, again, at last.

—Pagan Ways
Alan Faraway

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FEBRUARY – SNOW MOON

February is the second month of the Gregorian calendar, and the year’s shortest month. Named after the Latin word “februum,” it means “purification.” This corresponds with the purification ritual of Februa on the Full Moon, originally the 15th in the ancient Roman calendar. February’s astrological sign is Aquarius, the water-bearer (January 20 – February 18), a fixed air sign ruled by Uranus. In February, Mother Earth begins to stir’ daylight lasts a little longer, and the first crocuses begin to peek through the snow. The major holiday of the month, Imbolc or Candlemas, celebrates the strengthening Sun. During this time do some late-winter or early-spring cleaning. Candles are lit and Yuletide greenery is burned in a ritual fire to illuminate the waning darkness of winter. Corn dollies, called Corn Maidens, are dressed in scraps of white lace and ribbons. The maiden is placed in a basket, called the Bride’s Bed, with a small ribbon-entwined wand representing the God. Romance is celebrated on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Magickal activities include love divination of all types, and, of course, treating your romantic partner to chocolates is a common custom. Long ago, February’s Full Moon was called the Snow Moon, and the month is still know for powerful snow storms. Native American names for February’s Full Moon include, the Wolf Moon, the Quickening Moon and the Wind Moon. Still nature begins to sense the turning of the year. House finches begin looking for nesting sites and in the still frozen woodland foxes begin searching for a mate.

February honors Aradia, Brigid and Juno Februa. It also features the Maiden Goddess and the consort as Your or Rogue.

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February Full Moon – Snow Moon/Quickening Moon

In February, the nights are cold and we begin to feel a bit of cabin fever. This month’s full moon is called the Quickening Moon – in some places, it’s referred to as the Ice Moon, for obvious reasons. In other places, it’s known as the Hunger Moon. It’s the time of year when our ancestors began to feel the bite of winter in their bellies, sitting by a dwindling fire in the long dark night, wondering if they had stockpiled enough bread or meat or grain to get them through until spring.

By now, most of us are tired of being cooped up in the house, and there’s a part of us that’s just longing for a bit of warmth. This is the season of Imbolc, the days when we know that if we can just hold on for a few more weeks, we might get lucky and see little green shoots peeking out through the snow and slush.

Correspondences for The Snow Moon/Quickening Moon

Colors: Purple and blue
Gemstones: Rose quartz, amethyst, jasper
Trees: Rowan, Myrtle
Gods: Brighid, Aphrodite, Juno, Mars
Herbs: Hyssop, sage, myrrh
Element: Fire

Quickening/Snow Moon Magic

This is a month when new life is beginning, but still lies dormant. Pregnant animals, due in the spring, begin to feel the quickening of their unborn young. The earth itself is quickening, as seeds and bulbs far beneath the soil begin their journey towards the light. We know these things are coming — and we know also that this is a good month to make plans for the future. We can dream and hope, and set goals for ourselves. Accept responsibility for mistakes you’ve made in the past, and move on. Magical workings this month should focus on personal achievements and advancement.

Try one or more of these for a bit of Quickening Moon magic this month:

Plant some seeds in a pot of warm soil, to represent not just the new life that is beginning in the earth, but also the things you hope to achieve this year. If you’re planning a magical herb or flower garden, select your seeds based on the needs of the coming seasons.

Perform a meditation to do a bit of self-evaluation. Do you need to rethink the baggage you’re carrying around? Maybe this is the year you make big changes? A bit of reflective meditation is a good way to gain focus not only on what you hope to achieve, but the path you’ll need to take to make things happen.

Do a winter full moon ritual, to to reflect on darkness of the season, and know that without it, there can be no light. Think about what brings darkness to your own life, and recognize that if you never faced the dark, you’d have far less appreciation for the light.

This is a season of hearth and home. If you’re someone who’s crafty, get hands-on with your magic. Develop your skills and hone your talents, and channel that creativity into magical purposes – knit a warm hat or scarf to wear for outdoor rituals, sew a new altar cloth, craft some jewelry that reflects your beliefs, or write a song or poem honoring the gods and goddesses of your tradition.

Thanks to its proximity to Imbolc, the Quickening Moon season is a time of magical energy related to the feminine aspect of the goddess, of new beginnings, and of fire. It’s a great time to focus on divination and increasing your own magical gifts and abilities. Take advantage of these concepts, and plan your workings accordingly.

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Calendar published on & owned by About.com

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The Pagan Book of Days for the Month of February

The name of this month comes from the Roman goddess Ferua, mother of Mars. Known also as Juno Februa and St. Febonia (from Febris, the fever of love), she is the patroness of the passion of love In the Northern Tradition, she is the Norse goddess Sjofn. Her orgiastic rites are celebrated on February 14th–stilll observed as St. Valentine’s Day–when, in Roman times, young men would draw billets naming their femal parters. The Irish name for February is Feabhra, and the Anglo-Saxon name for this month was Solmonath, “sun month,” noting the gradual return of the light after the darkness of midwinter. In the ancient Frankish and the modern Asatru calendars, February is Horning, from Horn, the turnof the year. In the American backwoods tradition, the full moon in February is called the SNow moon. February is the shortest month, according to lengend having had a day looted by the month of August. Originally it appears that the months were arranged alternately with thirty-two and thirty days. But at some point, this was altered and February was truncated, becoming two day shorter than the others, except in the bissextile or leap year.

The Celtic tree-calendar month of Luis, the towan, runs until 17 February. It is superseded on the 18th by Nuin, the ash tree. The ash is the linking axis between the worlds and its color is clear, like glass. It is sacred to Gwydion, who, as god wisdom parallels the Teutonic divinity Woden, otherwise called Odin. This is a time of clear vision into other worlds, expressed by festival of purification. On February 1 the celebration of the cross-quarter day or fire festival, Imbolc or Brigantia, a purificatory festival. It is followed on the wind by its Christian counterpart Candlemas, the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Later in the month February 19 and February 21 are, respectively the Roman Parentalia and Feralia, likewise festivals of purification. The goddess-calendar month of Bridhe fill most of February, ending on the 19th. February 20 sees the beginning of the month of Moura. The birthstone of February is the amethyst:

If the February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If she the Amethyst will wear.

Country weather lore calls the month february fill-dyke, indicating a good deal of snow or rain to be expected:

February, fill the dyke,
Either with the black or white.
If it’s white, the better to like.
It is thought that a snowy month means that the spring will be fine.
When February give much snow,
A fine summer dost fore show.
A mild and sunny February is thought to be a bad omen, presaging a wet and stormy summer:
Of all the months in the year
Curse a fair Ferueer.

 

–The Pagan Book of Days, A Guide to the Festivals, Traditions, and Sacred Days of the Year
Nigel Pennick

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February’s Correspondences

NATURE SPIRITS: house faeries, both of home and plants in the home

HERBS: Balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard.

COLORS: light blue and violet

FLOWER: Primrose

SCENTS: wisteria, heliotrope

STONES: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal

TREES: rowan, laurel, cedar

ANIMALS: Otter and the Unicorn

BIRDS: Eagle and the chickadee

DEITIES: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter,
Persephone, Aphrodite.

POWER/ADVICE: Energy is working towards the surface, purification,healing and growth. Accept and forgive yourself for past errors, time to learn to love yourself and to make future plans.

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Symbols for the Month of February

February’s Sign of the Zodiac
Aquarius (January 20 – February 21)
Pisces (February 21 – March 20)

February’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Luis – Rowan (January 21 – February 17)
Beth – Birch (December 24 – January 20)

February’s Runic Half Months
Elhaz (January 28 – February 11)
Sigel (February 12 – February 26)
Tyr (February 27 – March 13)

February’s Birthstones
Amethyst

February’s Birth Flower
Violet, Primrose

Ruling Planet
Uranus

 

February’s Folklore

 

“When the cat lies in the sun in February, she will creep behind the stove in March.”

“Of all the months of the year, curse a fair February.”

“If it thunders in February, it will frost in April.”

“If February gives much snow, a fine summer it doth foreshow!”

 

Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

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Pagan Calendar of Events for February

2: Imbolc
2: Lammas or Lughnasadh (Southern Hemisphere)
12: Death of Gerald Gardner in 1964
13 – 21: Roman Festival of Parentalia
14: Valentine’s Day
15: Lupercalia
17: Celtic Tree Month of Rowan ends
18: Celtic Tree Month of Ash begins
21: Birthday of author Patricia Telesco
22: Full moon — Quickening Moon at 1:20 pm
22: Birthday of author Sybil Leek

—Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Calendar published on & owned by About.com

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Witchy Ways to Celebrate February

Decorate your home and altar with candles to welcome the return of the sun. Place a pot of bulbs in your home as your magical focus.

Make Brighid dolls from stems of straw; light a fire to welcome in the new.

Get out and about to search for signs of spring (wrap up warm, though).

This is a good time to find a wand, so hunt for the one that’s meant for you and spend time focusing on it and making it individual to you.

Organize your Book of Shadows to get ready for the start of the spring.

Cook with milk to celebrate the ewe’s milk of the season.

Use candle magic to spell for the stirrings of spring and any tiny flickers of ideas that grow.

–Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

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Happiness Is A Cuppa

A cup of tea or coffee— so familiar to us all! Certainly people barely get a foot through my door without the kettle going on. So this seems the perfect place to start! How many times do you make a cup of tea or coffee during the day? It is such a basic, ingrained ritual in all our households that we see it only as part of daily life and pay it little or no heed at all. But is it actually a ritual? I really believe it is. It’s something that we do so often and probably something we do in the same way each time. How many conversations have taken place in your home, or someone else’s, over a steaming mug? How many problems have been bashed out and emotions soothed by a hot cuppa?

Since this is a ritual that we perform all the time, doesn’t it make sense to use it for some magical good? This is how to make a cuppa magically, with intent. And I have included a spell for happiness, as a cuppa rarely fails to bring a smile to my face. But you can make a brew for any purpose at all. Just change the happiness wording and the ingredients you use to something that is appropriate to you and your task.

Cuppa Spell for Happiness

So you make tea and coffee all the time, right? Of course! But this time, you will really focus on the ceremony of making it, and really use the brew for your magical benefit.

First, fuss a little. Start with a completely empty kettle. Fill it with clean, pure, cold water. As you do this, listen to the sound of the water filling the kettle. Hear the drops and splashes; feel the weight of the kettle increase. Put the kettle on to boil, and give thanks that you have the means by which to heat the water.

Select your very favorite mug or cup. Think about why it’s your favorite. You may want to have a special mug or cup that you only use for magical purposes. Warm the teapot, if you are using one, or the cup if you are not. Feel and see the warm water move around the surface.

There is a huge variety of teas, coffees, and brews available today. Some are bought; some are foraged. But they all have their own magical uses and benefits. Chamomile for calm and peace, raspberry leaf for pregnancy, lemon and mint for refreshing and cleansing— the list is virtually endless.

However, as this is a spell for happiness, you should use what makes you happy. If that’s the finest loose tea, great! Herbal tea? Excellent! Tea bags or instant coffee? Use them! No one is going to be happy drinking something wonderfully natural and herbal if they don’t like it and think it tastes like grass!

Now that your cup or mug and your beverage have been selected, it’s time to make your happiness brew. Make your tea, coffee, or infusion with intent. Focus on all the elements that go into it. See the boiling water and feel the heat of the steam. Smell the aroma drifting up to you on that cloud of steam. (Not too close mind; don’t burn yourself. That is not magical!) As you add any milk or sugar, imagine these elements combining with your drink, magically changing it into something you love and something that has been made to bring you happiness.

When you have made your drink, sit down! Try not to drift off to another task; bring your full focus to the cup in your hands. I can’t tell you how many half-drunk cups of cold tea I find around the house. I love tea. But I so often get distracted and rarely get the time to finish a cup. What makes this moment so magical is the time you take to enjoy the experience.

Now imagine a feeling of happiness and comfort. Imagine that your cup is filling up with that feeling— fuller and fuller, until it overflows with all the happiness that should be within you! When you have found that feeling and your cup is overflowing with happiness, say:

Flow through me now
I ask of thee.
Replace all sadness,
So mote it be!

Sip your drink. Connect with its taste and warmth. Visualize it flowing from the cup into your body. Let the warmth of the drink spread joy, comfort, and happiness through your whole body, connecting every pore. Drink all of your brew; be focused and thankful for the happiness it is giving to you. Enjoy and savor the most run-of-the-mill thing most of us do so many times a day without thinking. Know also that the brew you have made with such focus and care will imbue every fibre of you with joy and happiness— down to the last drop! It really does work. Magic!
Enjoy your cuppa.

—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Mandy Mitchell

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We are Witches
We walk the path of the Old Gods
From this moment forth
We will not walk alone
Together, we will worship
Together, we will practice our Craft
Together, we will learn and grow
We vow to work, from this day forward
In perfect love and perfect trust
According to the free will of all
And for the good of all
Creating only beauty
Singing in harmony
Our song upon the Earth
Love is the law and love is the bond
In the name of the Goddess and the God
So do we vow, and so mote it be.
–Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
Deborah Blake
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