January the First Month of the Year of our Goddess, 2017

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Wisdom

Through the ages I have traveled
I have seen all there is to know
I have entered the space that
lies untouched
My power has bridged time
Energy has filled the void
Their voices can be heard
I know what they have been
taught
Their memories travel with me
For I know who they are
Our circle remains unbroken
For they call to me
I have come freely to know them
They have passed their knowledge to me
I can feel their thoughts
Their wisdom is mine
From time to time
From Witch to Witch
We are one….

—-A Witch’s Prayerbook
JoAnne Spiese

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JANUARY – WOLF MOON

January is the first month of the Gregorian calendar. Its name came from the two-faced Roman God Janus, ruler of gates and doorways. Its astrological sign Capricorn, the goat (December 22 – January 20), is a cardinal earth sign ruled by Saturn. January is a time of new beginnings. New Year’s Day brings with it the tradition of making resolutions for the year. Popular customs include opening the front and back door of the home, a symbolic way of letting the new year in and the old year out. Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, falls on January 6 and is the final night of the christmas season. This night is a time to gather family and friends near a crackling fire, enjoying good and sweets and sharing hopes and wishes for the coming year. January’s Full Moon was known as the Wolf Moon, a time when the hungry pack would search for food. In many regions, snow blankets the ground, icicles hang from the eaves, and the night sky is spangled with starlight. Evergreen trees, symbols of eternal life, stand out new to the winter woodland. Blue jays and cardinals brighten the winter landscape. Traditionally during this month Pagans perform purification magick using seasonal scents such as pine and ginger. The ritual burning of written charms so that their magick may be released is also popular in January.

“Before Julius Caesar hired the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria in 46 BCE to reform the calendar, the year began with the Spring Equinox. But the traditional calendar had gotten out of sync with the seasons. The new Julian calendar remained in effect until it, too, fell out of sync and was reformed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. The Gregorian calendar is today’s common calendar, though some religions still use variations of the Julian calendar.”

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The Wolf Moon of January

In January, the nights are long and dark, and many of us are trying to stay warm under a blanket of snow as the Cold Moon approaches (in some cultures, the Cold Moon is the name given to December’s moon, instead). Some of the native tribes of North America called this time the Wolf Moon, because this was when the wolves were howling, hungry, outside lodges where people stayed warm within. Other groups referred to it as the Snow Moon, for obvious reasons.

This time of year, we’re all feeling a bit slow and “off” as our bodies adjust to chillier temperatures. It’s easy to just lie on the couch watching Netflix and eating comfort food when it’s cold and gloomy outside, and making any kind of magical effort can seem like a real challenge right now.

Correspondences for the Wolf/Cold Moon

Colors: Black and white, silver
Gemstones: Hematite
Trees: Birch, Hazel
Gods: Inanna, Freyja
Herbs: Thistle, nuts and seeds, marjoram
Element: Air

Cold Moon Magic

This is a good time to work on magic related to protection, both physical and spiritual.

Use this time to develop your inner self, and advance spiritually, becoming closer to the higher aspects of your deities. Take the time in your busy schedule to meditate and think about what it is you really want out of life, and whether you’re showing people your true self.

January is also a great time to work on full moon magic – after all, the nights are long and dark, and in some areas the moon itself is the only source of light. Put aside your lethargy, and focus some energy on developing your intuition and wisdom.

Finally, for many people, winter is a season of simplification. Set aside everything you don’t need, and try a minimalist approach instead. On a mundane level, try doing a thorough cleaning of your physical space – get rid of the clutter. On a spiritual and emotional level, try to do the same thing – teach your mind to let go of the things that are creating excess baggage for your spirit and soul.

 

—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 January

January marks the beginning of the new year yet contains elements of that which went before. Its quality is thus one of new possibilities but constrained by that which took place in the old year before it. In modern Asatru, this month is known as Snowmoon. In the American backwoods tradition the full moon of January is called the Wolf Moon. The backwoods names for the full moon derive from early New England settlers and trappers and Native American traditions.

The Celtic tree calendar stems uses some of the letters of the ogham alphabet, each of which has a corresponding tree. The first twenty days January lie in the tree calendar month of Beth, the birch tree, representing beginnings and purification. In the Celtic tradition, the sacred color of this month is white, and it is dedicated to the mother goddess. From 21 January, the ruling Celtic tree is the rowan, Luis. This has the sacred color of gray and is dedicated to Morrighan.

Other Pagan traditions have different divisions in the fixed thirteen-month goddess calendar of Lux Madriana, January contains parts of the month of Hestia (until 22 January) and the beginning of the month of Bridhe.

Each month has a corresponding birthstone, whose virtues and powers are especially relevant to people born during that month. The January stone is the garnet. For each month there are orally handed down adages:

By her who in this month was born,
No gems saves
Garnet should be worn,
They will ensure her constancy.
True friendship and fidelity.

 

A summerish January
A winterish spring
A January spring
Is worth not thing.
If you see grass in January,
Lock your grain in our granary.

These lines speak of the false starts that sometimes happen in a warm January, where any young growth is almost certainly damaged by later frosts. If crops come up too early, shortages will follow. The weather of the first twelve days of the year is said to be indicative of that to be expected in the following twelve months. This traditional view formerly applied to the first twelve days of April but was later transferred to January. Movable feasts in January include Plough Monday and St. Distaff’s day, the Monday and Tuesday following Twelfth Night (6 January), traditional days for returning to work after the Yule celebration. Another movable day is the Disting Moon, the full moon between yule and Old Disting (25 January). The first day of the month is called the Kalends.

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

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January’s Correspondences

NATURE SPIRITS : gnomes and brownies

HERBS: marjoram, holy thistle, nuts and cones

COLORS: white, blue-violet and black

FLOWERS: snowdrop, crocus

SCENTS: musk and mimosa

STONES: garnet, onyx, jet, and chrysoprase

TREES: Birch

ANIMALS: Fox and Coyote

BIRDS: pheasant and the bluejay

DEITIES: Freya, Inanna, Sarasvati, Hera, CH’ang-O, Sinn

POWER AREAS: Sluggish, below the surface, beginning and concieving, protection, reversing spells, Conserve energy by working on your own personal problems that involve no one else. Time to work on new goals.

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Symbols for the Month of January

January’s Sign of the Zodiac

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

 

January’s Celtic Tree Astrology

Beth – Birch (December 24 – January 20)

Luis – Rowan (January 21 – February 17)

 

January’s Runic Half Months

Eoh (December 28 – January 12)

Peorth (January 13 – January 27)

Elhaz (January 28 – February 11)

 

January’s Birthstones

Garnet
(Garnet represents constancy)

 

January’s Birth Flower

Crocus

 

January’s Folklore

 

“Here’s to thee, old apple tree whence thou mayest bud, whence thou mayest blow, when thou mayest bear apples now.”

“January brings snow, makes our feet and fingers glow!”

“To shorten winter, borrow money due in spring!”

“Pale January lay in its cradle day by day, dead or living hard to say.”

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

Mandy Mitchell

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Pagan Calendar for January 2016

  • 1: Birthday of folklorist Sir James Frazier, 1854. Frazier’s work, The Golden Bough, is a must-read for anyone interested in modern Paganism, and the mythologies of the past.
  • 12: Full moon — Cold Moon at 6:35 a.m. This is a good month to work on developing the inner self, connecting with the deities of our paths, and focusing on self-discovery and awareness.
  • 13: Last of Austria’s witchcraft laws repealed in 1787
  • 19: Birthday of Dorothy Clutterbuck, who allegedly initiated Gerald Gardner into the New Forest coven.
  • 20: Celtic Tree Month of Birch ends
  • 21: Celtic Tree Month of Rowan begins
  • 24: Sementivae, a grain-oriented festival celebrating the sowing of the fields in preparation for springtime’s planting.
  • 25: Birthday of poet Robert Burns, 1759
  • 30: Birthday of Z Budapest, founder of Dianic Wicca
  • 30 – Feb. 2: Roman celebration of Februalia
  • 31: Up Helly Aa celebration, Shetland Islands, Scotland

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

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WITCHY WAYS TO CELEBRATE DECEMBER

Decorate your home and altar with white and green, and with all things festive. Use holly, ivy, and mistletoe as your Yule focus; bun cinnamon, clove, or frankincense incense.

Work with the family to create Yule decorations or a Yule log to add to your normal festive décor.

Cook with foods that boost your immune system. Include sunflower seeds in your Yule foods to represent the sun.

Connect with the returning light by burning a sun candle.

Celebrate all things of the season! Recognize the festival of Yule as well as Christmas, but celebrate this time of year as a whole. Make it a time for family and friends to gather and have fun.

Spend some time building up your knowledge and work on a plan to nurture your craft regularly.

Be kind to yourself and others. Be aware of the stresses of the season and send out blessings for all those affected. Take time to be good to yourself.

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

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The Superstitions of Bayberry

There lingers an old superstition about bayberry candles, that to burn one in the home on Christmas Eve or on the first day of the year brings good fortune to the home. According to one tradition, each member of a family make a wish while lighting the candle—if the candle burns all the way down, it comes true. In another lovely tradition, a woman sends a candle to her distant sweetheart with instructions for what day and time to burn the candle. They believe the fragrances somehow drift together as symbol of their thoughts of one another.

It seems, however, that the pre-electric homes that produced such a candle already enjoyed good fortune—it takes nearly a pound of bayberries to produce enough was to create a single candle. Even as, these sumptuous green candles, along with memories of their traditions, linger on, giving a wonderful smell as they burn. The folklore of the bayberry candles—bringing luck to the house and money to the pocket, as the print on the popular seven-day candle often reads—aligns well with a spell popular with witches of the bicontinental American traditional variety the Road Opener.

A road opening spell opens up opportunities for the person casting the spell. If the person seeks a new job, the spell increases the possibilities of finding one. If the person want to make a life change such in returning to school, traveling, or starting a new creative endeavor, the Road Opener invites in the possibility. If performed with the right influences, it can even it can even expand a person’s choices when dating. Often these spells work best as a follow-up to a cleansing spell known as an uncrossing, but if circumstances seem limited rather than negative, the Road Opener itself works just fine.

Bayberry Candle Road Opener Spell

The best days to perform this spell are January 1, any New Moon, any Full Moon and anytime the Moo is in Aries.

You will need:
One glass-encased, seven-day bayberry candle
A marker
Four pinches of dirt, gathered from each point of a four-way-stop intersection
Symbols representing desired opportunities such as keys for a new home, a sample pay stub for a new job, etc.

Place the candle on a heatproof plate in a fire safe zone. Write on the candle glass with the market what made you want opened—be clear about your goals without focusing on how those goals might come about.

Light the candle, Saying,
Opportunity, come this way!

Set down on pinch of dirt, saying,
Eastern roads are open to me.

Set down the next, saying,
Southern roads are open to me.

Set down the next, saying,
Western roads are open to me.

Set down the next, saying,
Northern roads are open to me.

You can further adjust the Road Opener to the specific area of life you need opened by adding symbols and chants related to that purpose.
Allow the candle to burn all the way down.

–Diana Rajchel
Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar 2017

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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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