New Moon Esbat Gathering Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM CT

Coven Life®

WHEN:

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Social time starts at 7:00 PM CT

Circle is Casted at 7:15 PM CT SHARP

PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE CHAT ROOM AFTER 7:14 PM CT

WHERE:

Coven Life’s Chatroom

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1 green candle
1white candle
Sweetgrass, incense or sage – Use to cleanse the space you will be doing the ritual in
 Fireproof container to burn it in
Matches or Lighter
 
The dark moon ( or new moon) is a time for beginnings. A time for you to reflect on the the things working in your life, things that are not, and the beginning of new goals or desires. Before we celebrate this powerful moon time, cleanse  your sacred space with sweetgrass or   and decide on a new beginning for you. Please do this in 3 minutes.
Type in ready when you are done.
EVERYONE: Please type your name…

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Making Herbal Poultices

Making Herbal Poultices

 

Making herbal poultices is not difficult and can be done relatively quickly. A poultice is like a salve or an ointment and is often heated before applying to the skin. Always applied externally, they are effective treatments for wounds, infections, and inflammation and swelling. Very likely your grandmother or great-grandmother made poultices as a treatment for arthritis, bursitis, gout, and a host of other joint and muscle ailments.

A poultice is a mixture that is applied to one side of a clean cloth and placed over the affected area. Fresh herbs are chopped or ground and then added to an emulsifier such as mineral oil, olive oil, or aloe vera juice. Slippery elm, which contains a great deal of mucilage, can also be added. In making herbal poultices powdered herbs can be used, however freshly prepared organics are always best. Once the cloth is situated over the skin it can be secured with an elastic bandage to keep it securely in place.

Mustard Plaster

One of the most well known poultices is a mustard poultice. Used to relieve symptoms of the common cold and respiratory ailments it can be formulated very quickly. Combine a tablespoon of dry mustard with four tablespoons of flour. To prevent blistering of the skin also add one egg. Blend these ingredients with an emulsifier or a small amount of water and rub directly on the patient?s chest to bring relief from cold symptoms.

Onion Poultice

Use an onion poultice to reduce the pain and swelling resulting from strained or pulled muscles and tendons. Adding a finely chopped onion to aloe juice and applying this mixture to a cloth is a remarkably simple poultice recipe. Place this on the area of the strain. To intensify the anti-inflammatory properties of this poultice add white willow.

General First Aid Poultice

A general purpose poultice for a range of skin wounds and infections contains Slippery Elm, Goldenseal, Aloe Vera juice, and Comfrey. The berberine in the goldenseal kills bacteria which are the source of infection. Comfrey contains allantoin which speeds healing and reduces scaring. Slippery elm is a soothing herb with mucilage that helps bind the other ingredients together. The aloe vera juice acts as the emulsifier and is a conduit for the other herbs to penetrate the skin.

Making herbal poultices is a time-honored tradition dating back to Native American medicine. This is one more remedy for your home herbal pharmacy.

Making Herbal Salves

Making Herbal Salves

 

Making herbal salves at home is easy and they can provide better results than over-the-counter medications. Mainly used externally, herbal salves are most efficacious in the treatment of skin wounds, infections, and irritations.

Herbal Salve Basics

While grinding your own fresh herbs produces the best result you may also purchase dried herbs in bulk or in capsule form. If you opt for using the latter form, break apart the capsules to release the powered herb.

Use a small dish to contain the herbs and mix them with mineral water, petroleum jelly, or Aloe vera juice. Petroleum jelly is an excellent choice since it is thicker and will stay in place when you spread it on the skin. Aloe juice is a good choice for penetrating salves because it will carry the herbs into the inflamed or swollen muscles and joints.

Virgin olive oil may ever be employed as an emulsifying agent. However, when using Aloe juice or either of the oils adding slippery elm is a good idea. This herb will thicken the mixture so it won?t be so runny.

Consistency

In making herbal salves consistency and homogeneity are crucial. To this end mix the herbs with a small portion of the liquid or jelly at a time. This will ensure a uniform saturation of the active ingredients. Also, you can better control the consistency so your finished medication won?t be too thin and not adhere to the skin.

Comfrey Salve

When you have kids at home with their penchant for getting cuts and scrapes comfrey salve is a very useful all-around ointment to keep in stock. Comfrey is an herb that accelerates the repair of damaged tissues. Wounds will close more quickly and scarring will be minimized. Mix the ground comfrey with petroleum jelly for best results. Also, add a pinch of goldenseal to prevent infection from occurring. Comfrey also relieves pain and has general tissue soothing properties.

Hemorrhoid Relief

If hemorrhoids are a problem concoct a salve by mixing Aloe Vera juice, Goldenseal, and white willow or white oak bark. The goldenseal will treat inflammation and the white willow bark will ameliorate the discomfort. Aloe juice will speed absorption into the tissues. Insert the salve into the anus before bedtime and frequently the hemorrhoids are gone by morning. The addition of garlic to the salve is an excellent treatment for killing pinworms and expelling their eggs. This treatment is completely safe for children.

Making herbal salves provides a safe and inexpensive treatment for ailments ranging from splinters and ingrown toenails to burns and cuts. Some of these salves can be used internally as in a hemorrhoid preparation but most are used topically on the skin.

 

Making Herbal Infusions

Making Herbal Infusions

 

Herbal infusions are potent water-based preparations. They are superb for extracting the medicinal properties of dried herbs. You can drink them or use them externally as skin washes, compresses, douches, sitz baths,or poultices.

How are they different from a tea? They are made using larger amounts of herbs and are steeped in an air-tight container for at least several hours. You can drink them at room temperature, reheated, or over ice.

Quart size canning jars are ideal to use because they rarely break when you pour boiling water into them as long as they are at room temperature when water is added. They also allow for a tight seal.

Using Dried Leaves

Put 1 ounce (a large handful) of dried leaves into a quart jar and fill the jar with boiling water.

Screw the lid on tight and let steep until completely cool.

Strain out plant material.

Using Dried Roots or Barks

Put 1 ounce (a large handful) of dried roots or bark into a pint jar and fill the jar with boiling water.

Screw the lid on tight and let steep until completely cool.

Strain out plant material.

Using Dried Flowers

Put 1 ounce (a large handful) of dried flowers into a quart jar and fill the jar with boiling water.

Screw the lid on tight and let steep 2 or 3 hours.

Strain out plant material.

Using Dried Seeds

Put 1 ounce (a large handful) of dried seeds into a pint jar and fill the jar with boiling water.

Screw the lid on tight and let steep for 1/2 hour – no more or the taste will be bitter.

Strain out seeds.

Printer friendly instructions for making infusions

Herbal Baths

When used in the tub, the medicinal properties of an herbal infusion will be absorbed through the skin.Add 2 quarts of a strained infusion to your bath water and enjoy!

Herbal Sitz Bath

For a sitz bath, fill a large, shallow bowl or pan with at least 2 quarts of strained infusion and have a seat!

Herbal Poultices

For an herbal poultice you will retain the plant material from your infusion and apply it directly to the desired area. The liquid can be used to wash the area first if desired. This is an effective way to treat infections or wounds.

Herbal Compress

For an herbal compress you retain the plant material from an infusion and place it in a clean cloth or piece of gauze. Place it on desired area. You can dip it in the liquid from your infusion if desired. Compresses are useful for treating eye sties or when you don’t want plant material to enter open wounds.

Making Herbal Oils

Making Herbal Oils

 

Oils of olive, almond, coconut or almond are all good choices and it is best to use fresh plant material though some dried roots are appropriate provided they have been thoroughly dried. (You can bake roots at a very low temperature for 1 hour before using.)

~ Select fresh, dry plants. Wipe off any dirt and discard damaged parts. You should select enough plant material to completely fill the jar you are going to be using.

~ Coarsely chop the herbs and pack them into a clean and very dry jar. Use a jar with a very tight fitting lid as some herbs will ‘gas-off’ which can cause oozing.

~ Pour your oil slowly over the herbs all the way to the the very top of the jar. Poke the herbs with a long, thin object to eliminate as many air pockets as possible This will reduce the opportunity for mold to grow. Fill with oil to thevery top and screw the lid on very tight.

~ Label your jar with the date and type of herbs and oil used.

~ Keep the jar on a flat surface at normal room temperature for 6-8 weeks. Leaving the herbs in longer could result in mold.

~ Pour off into a clean, very dry jar. Strain herbs through a clean piece of cloth.

~ Let sit for several days after you decant it to let any water that seeped from the herbs settle to the bottom of your jar. Pour off into a new clean, very dry jar.

~ Label your creation and store in a cool dark place.

Making Herbal Tinctures

Making Herbal Tinctures

 

Herbal tinctures are spirit-based powerful elixirs made from a concentration of one or more herbs. These tinctures are usually made from fresh plant material combined with an alcohol such as vodka or brandy, or another liquid such as vinegar or ethanol.

Selecting Your Spirits

Before herbalist can begin the process of making an herbal tinctures, they need to determine the type of alcohol that will combine with the plant material.

Although many commercial tinctures use 198-proof alcohol, many herbalists chose a simple, easy to obtain, affordable 100-proof vodka. Using a 100-proof alcohol can also ease the formulation process of a tincture.

Ways to Avoid or Reduce Alcohol Content

You can employ strategies to reduce the amount of alcohol in a tincture, if you become concerned with the alcohol-to-herb ratio.

  • Placing the container in boiling water for one to two minutes after prepared can reduce the alcohol content by as much a fifty percent.
  • Vinegar or glycerin can be added to the solution, although most experts believe this decreases the potency of the tincture.

How to Make a Tincture

Although many different methods exist to make herbal tinctures, certain basic steps apply to most tincture recipes. These include:

  • Select herbs for the tincture
  • Properly prepare by lightly cleaning and removing excess dirt and/or foreign matter – be careful not to thoroughly immerse or clean, as this could reduce potency
  • Chop the stems, roots and leaves into a course material; flowers can be left whole
  • Place herbs into a glass jar or container
  • Add the liquid, ensuring all herbs/flowers are fully immersed
  • Firmly seal the container
  • Store in a temperature controlled environment for six to eight weeks for optimum flavor and affect

Storing in a cool and consistent temperature is best. Although tinctures do not require a cold environment, avoid higher temperatures that will affect the flavor of the tincture.

While being stored in its distilling period, it’s best to gently shake it periodically to allow the herbs and liquid to mix thoroughly.

After the weeks of distilling, strain herbs from the liquid; then pour the pure liquid into a clean, dry bottle for long-term storage and use.

Most herbalists advise getting into the habit of labeling bottles clearly with the herbs and liquids used in the tincture.

Advantages of Tinctures

Tinctures have several advantages, including:

  • Tinctures remain potent for years
  • A multitude of doses can be derived from a small amount of plant material
  • Tinctures are very portable
  • Most tinctures are fast acting, even in small doses
  • Tinctures can be easily controlled

Herbal tinctures have been used for many years and most of the recipes are easy to follow. Adding too much alcohol to the tincture is easily fixed; in addition, alternative methods can reduce or eliminate alcohol all together.

The 55 Best Herbal Remedies

The 55 Best Herbal Remedies

Not long ago, American herbalists had to rely on folklore and anecdote. There was little clinical data on herbs, and what did exist was mostly published in German. But researchers (and translators) have been busy of late, and we now have proof that herbs are viable treatments for many ailments.

“Herbs won’t replace pharmaceuticals, but the research shows that–for many conditions–herbs work well, are cheaper than drugs and cause fewer side effects,” says Mary Hardy, M.D., medical director of the integrative medicine program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “Herbs aren’t quite mainstream, but they’re moving in that direction. Patients are interested in them, and doctors are increasingly familiar with herb research.

“Twenty years ago, there was no integrative program at Cedars-Sinai” she adds. “Now there is. That says something” Here, then, are the proven, 55 best herbal treatments. Stick to the dose specified in the studies or on the product label. When making teas, use 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb per cup of boiling water, steeped for 10 minutes. Tell your physician about any herbs you plan on using, especially if you’re pregnant or nursing, have a chronic medical condition or take medication regularly.

(1) Aloe Vera for Burns
Sometimes studies tell us what we already know. Aloe vera is the herb for minor burns, a fact that was confirmed most recently in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. Keep a potted aloe on your kitchen sill; it requires no care beyond weekly watering. For minor burns, snip off a thick leaf and slit it open; scoop out the gel from the inner leaf and apply to the burn.

(2) Black Cohosh for Menopause
The Algonquin Indians used black cohosh to treat gynecological ills, and it was a key part of Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, sold in the 1870s to treat “female complaints and weaknesses.” In a recent German study on menopausal hot flashes, subjects were given estrogen, a Valium-like tranquilizer or black cohosh (Remifemin, two tablets twice a day). The herb, which is an option for women who can’t take estrogen, worked best. “The vast majority of studies show benefit,” says Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council.

(3) Boswellia for Arthritis and Joint Injuries
Did the three wise men suffer aches and pains from their long camel ride? Luckily, they had frankincense, aka boswellia, a traditional Ayurvedic medicine for arthritis and joint injuries. In a study published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Egyptian researchers gave people with osteoarthritis of the knee boswellia and turmeric or a placebo. After three months, the herb group showed significantly greater relief from knee swelling.

(4) Chamomile for Digestive Problems
“Chamomile tea, perhaps the best-known herbal tisane, is widely employed as a digestive remedy throughout Europe, and its therapeutic use is well documented,” says David Hoffman, author of Medical Herbalism. This herb relaxes spasms of the smooth muscles and counters inflammation in the gut lining; it also has antiseptic and vasodilatory effects. Allergic reactions are possible, especially if you’re sensitive to ragweed.

(5) Chaste Tree for Premenstrual Syndrome
It won’t preserve virginity, but chaste tree has hormonal effects that minimize monthly symptoms. When 1,634 German PMS sufferers took chaste tree, 93 percent reported benefit. In tests against two other popular treatments, vitamin [B.sub.6] and Prozac, the herb worked as well as the drug and better than the vitamin. “Chaste tree is the best herb for PMS,” says James A. Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy. “It’s safe and the studies are convincing. “Just be patient: It can take three months to experience benefit. Some women report stomach distress, headache and increased menstrual flow.

(6) Coffee for Athletic Stamina
The caffeine in coffee or tea stimulates not only alertness (and jitters and insomnia), but also athletic performance. Korean researchers at the Institute for Elderly Health in Seoul asked athletes to ride stationary cycles until they felt exhausted–before and after drinking the equivalent of one tall Starbucks coffee. After their java break, they were able to ride significantly longer.

(7) Coffee for Pain Relief
Anacin and Excedrin claim that their “extra ingredient” provides greater pain relief. What is it? Caffeine. Many reports, including one in the Archives of Internal Medicine, have shown that adding about 65 milligrams of caffeine to aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen increases pain relief by around 40 percent. Caffeine blocks pain perception, has pain-relieving action, and elevates mood, which also helps minimize pain. Next time you have a headache, wash down your favorite pain pill with coffee or tea for more relief.

(8) Coffee as a Decongestant in Colds, Flu and Asthma
Caffeine opens narrowed bronchial tubes, according to Joe and Teresa Graedon, authors of The People’s Pharmacy. According to a report in the Annals of Epidemiology, the odds of experiencing current asthma symptoms were reduced 29 percent for subjects who drank coffee on a regular basis when compared with non-coffee drinkers.

(9) Cranberry for Urinary-Tract Infection
Cranberry prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall long enough to cause an infection. Finnish researchers divided 150 recurrent UTI sufferers into three groups. One drank cranberry juice (50 milliliters a day). Another took Lactobacillus. The third took nothing. After six months, 36 percent of the no-treatment group and 39 percent of the Lactobacillus group reported at least one recurrence. Of the juice drinkers, only 16 percent had recurrences. Other options are dried cranberries (Craisins) and cranberry-extract capsules. “I recommend cranberry for UTI,” Duke says. “But if you drink the juice, you have to drink a lot. It’s usually easier to munch on the dried berries or take capsules.”

(10) Echinacea for Colds and Flu
The root of this daisy-like flower revs up the immune system. According to an analysis by University of Wisconsin researchers, in eight of nine studies evaluating echinacea for upper-respiratory infections, the herb reduced symptoms and accelerated recovery compared with placebos. “As soon as I feel a cold coming on, I take it–and my cold is mild and brief,” says Duke. Echinacea is available in teas and capsules, though most herbalists prefer tinctures. Liquid echinacea products may cause temporary, harmless numbing or tingling of the tongue; minor stomach upset is possible with tinctures. To manage your cold and flu symptoms while the Echinacea kicks in, you can use an OTC medication. While these medicines won’t cure or shorten the duration of your illness, they can help get you back on your feet again.

(11) Evening Primrose Oil for Lowering Cholesterol
Evening primrose seeds contain an oil with a high concentration of compounds rarely found in plants: essential fatty acids, specifically gamma-linolenic acid. In one study, reported in The Review of Natural Products, 79 people with high cholesterol took 4 grams of Efamol every day for three months (which provides about 320 mg of GLA), and their average cholesterol level fell 31.5 percent. The suggested dose for evening primrose oil starts at 1-gram gelcaps twice or three times a day. High cholesterol requires professional care, so consult your physician about GLA.

(12) Evening Primrose Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis
The EFAs in EPO are also a powerful anti-inflammatory. University of Pennsylvania researchers gave 37 arthritis sufferers borage oil (which contains GLA) or a placebo, The placebo had no effect, but the herb group reported 45 percent less pain with no side effects. Other studies utilizing GLA obtained similar results. Rheumatoid arthritis requires professional care, so consult your physician about GLA.

(13) Feverfew for Migraine Prevention
British scientists at the University of Exeter analyzed six studies of feverfew, concluding that the herb significantly reduces the frequency of migraine occurrence. “In my experience,” Duke says, “feverfew prevents migraines in about two-thirds of those who use it consistently.” Dosage is generally 50 to 150 mg per day of powdered leaves.

(14) Flaxseed for Menopausal Discomfort
Safety concerns have reduced the number of women on hormone replacement therapy, but flaxseed is rich in phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) that can take the heat out of hot flashes. At Laval University in Quebec, Canada, researchers gave 25 menopausal women HRT or flaxseed (1.4 ounces per day, mixed into food). After six months, flaxseed relieved hot flashes as effectively as HRT.

(15) Flaxseed for Osteoporosis
Because flaxseed is a natural hormone replacement therapy, it also mimics HRT’s bone-preserving ability. Oklahoma State researchers gave a placebo or flaxseed (1.3 ounces per day) to 38 postmenopausal women for 14 weeks, and measured blood and urine for markers of bone loss and regrowth. The flaxseed group showed decreased bone resorption and calcium excretion, indicating reduced bone loss.

(16) Garlic as an Antibiotic
From ancient times through World War I, garlic has been used to treat the wounded. During the 1920s, researchers at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland isolated garlic’s antibiotic compound, alliin, which has no medicinal value until the herb is chewed, chopped or crushed. Then an enzyme transforms alliin into a powerful antibiotic called allicin. Modern antibiotics are more potent and easier to take (just try chewing a dozen raw cloves), but if you’re concerned about ulcers, use more garlic in your diet. Researchers at the University of Washington have shown that garlic kills H. pylori, the bacteria that cause ulcers. Raw garlic has the most antibiotic potency, but garlic still has benefits when cooked. “I use lots of garlic in cooking,” Duke says, “for reasons of taste and health.”

(17) Garlic for Cholesterol Control
Researchers at New York Medical College in Valhalla analyzed five studies and found that one-half to one clove of garlic per day reduces cholesterol by 9 percent. If you’d rather not eat fresh garlic every day, garlic supplements, including “deodorized” brands. have a similar effect. (Supplements with proven benefit include Kwai and Kvolic.) “Garlic doesn’t work as well as the statin drugs,” says Blumenthal, “so if your numbers are really high, you may need medication. But if your cholesterol s just mildly elevated or if it’s normal and you want to keep it that way, garlic definitely helps.” Garlic can impair blood clotting; if you notice increased bruising, stop taking it. and consult your physician.

(18) Garlic for Cancer Prevention
Garlic reduces the risk of several cancers. In the long-term Iowa Women’s Health Study. researchers followed 41,837 middle-aged women. Subjects who ate the most garlic had the lowest risk of colon cancer. A few cloves a week cut risk by 32 percent and greater intake decreased risk even more While fruit and vegetable consumption in general helps prevent cancel in this study, garlic yielded the greatest preventive benefit of all the plant foods analyzed. Other studies have shown that garlic helps lower risk for prostate and bladder cancers.

(19) Ginger for Motion Sickness
In ancient China, sailors chewed ginger root to prevent motion sickness and modern studies have confirmed that ginger prevents nausea and vomiting. Danish scientists at Svendborg Hospital observed 80 naval cadets in heavy seas and found that those who took ginger experienced 72 percent less seasickness than a placebo group. Take a 1-gram capsule of powdered ginger root about an hour before you embark, and another every two hours or as needed (without exceeding 10 grams a day) during a journey, Ginger’s only side effect is occasional minor heartburn. “t use ginger myself.” Duke says, “It works for me.”

(20) Ginger for Morning Sickness
Speaking of nausea, ginger also assists in preventing morning sickness. In a stud’. published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers at Thailand’s Chiang Mai University gave 70 nausea-plagued pregnant women ginger powder (1 gram a day) or a placebo. In the latter group, 28 percent reported relief But in the ginger group, the figure was 88 percent, use the dose given in the study, or brew a tea using 2 teaspoons of freshly grated root per cup of boiling water.

(21) Ginkgo for Alzheimer’s Disease
The big study was published in 1997 in the journal of the American Medical Association: Researchers n a multicenter study gave 202 people with Alzheimer’s either a placebo or ginkgo extract (120 mg a day). A year later, the ginkgo group retained more mental function, and subsequent studies have corroborated this finding. Ginkgo Improves blood flow around the body–including through the brain. It’s safe. but it has anticoagulant properties, so increased bruising is possible.

(22) Ginkgo for Mental Acuity
Beyond its benefits for Alzheimer’s, four recent studies show that ginkgo improves mental function in people who are cognitively normal, In a study published in Phytotherapy Research. 31 health, adults, ages 30 to 59, received ginkgo (120 to 300 mg a day) or a placebo, The herbs significantly improved several measures of memory. Buy a standardized extract and take 120 to 240 mg a day.

(23) Ginkgo for Erection and Libido Problems
Ginkgo improves blood flow into the genitals. In a study published in the Journal of Urology, 60 men with erection problems caused by narrowed arteries and impaired blood flow to the penis were given ginkgo (60 mg a day); after six months, half had regained erection ability. When researchers at the University of Hawaii and Stanford University tested ArginMax, a sexual-enhancement supplement that contains ginkgo, ginseng and L-arginine, 80 percent of the male subjects had improved erection function, while 74 percent of the female subjects reported more libido, less dryness and greater frequency of orgasm.

(24) Ginkgo for Anti-Depressant-Induced Sex Problems
An enormous number of Americans take antidepressants, The relief comes at a price: a substantial risk of libido loss erection impairment, vaginal dryness and inability to reach orgasm. Investigators at the University of California at San Francisco gave ginkgo (209 mg a day) to 63 people suffering from antidepressant-induced sex problems. The herb helped 91 percent of the women and 76 percent of the men to return to normal sexual function

(25) Ginkgo for Altitude Sickness
Traveling from a low elevation up to the mountains often produces symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, sluggishness and excessive thirst, due to the decrease in available oxygen. (Over a few days. the body makes more red blood cells, which boosts oxygenation of the blood.) Researchers at the Hopital de Chamonix in France gave 44 mountaineers ascending the Himalayas ginkgo (80 mg twice daily) or a placebo. In the latter group, 82 percent developed respiratory problems related to altitude sickness, but among the ginkgo users, the figure was only 14 percent.

(26) Ginseng for Athletic Stamina
Many athletes take ginseng as part of their training. In a study published in Clinical Therapy, Italian researchers gave 50 physical education teachers a placebo or ginseng (with some vitamins and minerals), and then had them run on a treadmill, Hearts and lungs in the ginseng group worked more efficiently, and those subjects’ stamina increased significantly, Ginseng is safe, but it does have anticoagulant action. so increased bruising is possible.

(27) Ginseng for Immune Enhancement
Many studies show that ginseng revs up the immune system. Scientists at the University of Milan. Italy, gave ginseng (100 mg a day) or a placebo to 227 people. A month later. everyone received a flu shot (which does not kill the flu virus. but rather stimulates the immune system to resist infection). In the placebo group, 42 people got the flu, but in the ginseng group, the figure was just 15, demonstrating that ginseng enhanced immune response to the shot.

(28) Ginseng for Diabetes
Ginseng also reduces blood-sugar levels. In a study published in Diabetes Care, 30 subjects newly diagnosed with diabetes were given ginseng extract (100 or 200 mg a day) or a placebo, with the ginseng groups showing lower blood-sugar levels. Other studies concur. Diabetes requires professional treatment; consult your physician about ginseng.

(29) Ginseng for Erectile Dysfunction
According to a review of studies at Yale University, ginseng boosts the body’s synthesis of nitric oxide. As NO increases, so does the likelihood of erection. In a report in the Journal of Urology, Korean researchers gave 45 men with erection impairment a placebo or ginseng (900 mg three times a day). Those taking the herb experienced significant erection improvement.

(30) Ginseng for Low Sperm Count
At the University of Rome, Italy, researchers gave ginseng (4 grams a day) to 30 men suffering from low sperm counts. Three months later, the subjects’ counts almost doubled, from an average of 15 million/ml to 29 million/ml.

(31) Goldenseal for Digestive-Tract Infections
Goldenseal, an herbal antibiotic, is often marketed in combination with echinacea as a treatment for infections, but it is effective only in the digestive tract, not for colds or flu. At the University of Illinois in Chicago, researchers tested goldenseal against H. pylori, the bacteria that cause ulcers, and the herb inhibited bacterial growth. For GI infections (ulcer, food poisoning, infectious diarrhea, etc.), ask your doctor about using goldenseal in addition to medical therapies.

(32) Hawthorn for Congestive Heart Failure
In heart failure, the heart keeps beating, just not as forcefully as it should; people with the condition become exhausted from minor exertion. Many studies show that hawthorn stimulates fatigued hearts to beat more normally. In a study published in Phytomedicine, German researchers gave hawthorn (240 mg a day) or a placebo to 40 people with heart failure. Three months later, the hawthorn group was able to exercise significantly longer. “We reviewed much of the published research on hawthorn recently,” Blumenthal says, “and 13 of 14 studies showed benefit in heart failure.”

(33) Hibiscus for Hypertension
Hibiscus is the trumpet-shaped, tropical flower that puts the color in Red Zinger tea. A report in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that 12 days of drinking hibiscus tea (2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water several times a day) lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 11 percent. High blood pressure requires professional care; ask your doctor about adding hibiscus to your treatment plan.

(34) Horse Chestnut for Varicose Veins
“Mainstream medicine offers only support hose and surgery,” says Blumenthal, “but standardized horse chestnut seed extract has shown efficacy in most clinical trials.” At the University of Heidelberg, Germany, 240 sufferers of newly visible varicose veins were treated with compression stockings or horse chestnut (50 mg aescin twice a day). After 12 weeks, both groups reported equal relief. Off the tree, horse chestnuts are poisonous, but commercial extracts are detoxified and safe.

(35) Horsetail for Skin Healing
Before steel wool and abrasive cleansers, this herb helped scour pots and pans. Today it’s used to heal the skin. A Spanish study published in Revista de Enfermeria showed that horsetail speeds the healing of wounds; it’s also used in skin-care products.

(36) Lavender for Anxiety
Lavender flowers are an age-old remedy for anxiety. British researchers at the University of Wolverhampton had women add lavender oil or a placebo to their bath water. Bathing by itself is calming, but in this study, a bath infused with lavender oil significantly reduced anger, frustration and negativity. Use a handful of lavender flowers, or buy lavender oil and add several drops to your bath. Ingesting lavender oil is toxic; keep it away from children.

(37) Lemon Balm for Relaxation
The 17th-century English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that lemon balm drives away all melancholy. That’s an overstatement, but science has shown that lemon balm is tranquilizing. The herb and its oil have been used in Alzheimer’s care units to calm those who are agitated. To decompress after a tough day, try a cup of lemon-balm tea; for extra benefit, mix with chamomile.

(38) Lemon Balm for Herpes
Lemon balm has antiviral action. As reported in Phytomedicine, German researchers gave 66 people in the early stages of herpes simplex labialis outbreaks lemon-balm cream or a placebo. The herb group had milder outbreaks that healed faster. Lemon balm is the active ingredient in the herpes treatment Herpalieve. “If you have herpes,” Duke says, “drink lemon-balm tea. If you have an outbreak, apply lemon balm to the sore.”

(39) Licorice for Sore Throat
In a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers gave either a placebo or Throat Coat, a licorice tea from Traditional Medicinals, to 60 sore-throat sufferers 4 to 6 times a day for seven days; the tea tipplers reported significantly less pain on swallowing. Add a teaspoon of chopped or powdered root to a beverage tea, and feel relief almost immediately.

(40) Milk Thistle for Liver Health
Silymarin in milk thistle seeds has a remarkable ability to protect the liver. This herb has been shown to help treat hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis, and it’s been found more effective than traditional medicine at treating “deathcap” mushroom poisoning. “In our analysis,” Blumenthal says,” 19 of 21 studies support milk thistle seed extract for liver conditions.” Because most drugs are metabolized through the liver, many herbalists recommend silymarin for anyone who takes liver-taxing medication.

(41) Papaya for Herniated Disks
Papaya has been used by Caribbean Indians to treat skin wounds and infections and by the Japanese to treat digestive disorders. In 1982, the Food and Drug Administration approved injections of the papaya enzyme chymopapain to dissolve cellular debris in herniated or slipped vertebral disks in the back. Allergic reactions are possible.

(42) Peppermint for Indigestion
In ancient Greece, people chewed a sprig of mint after feasts to settle the stomach, a tradition that evolved into our after-dinner mints. German researchers gave 118 adults with persistent indigestion a standard drug (cisapride) or twice-daily capsules of enteric-coated peppermint oil (90 mg) and caraway oil (50 mg), another traditional stomach soother. (The enteric coating allows the capsules to survive stomach acid and release their oil in the small intestine, where non-heartburn indigestion develops.) Four weeks later, the drug and the herb blend produced the same relief. If you use herbal oils, do not exceed the recommended dose, and keep them away from children. You also can brew a peppermint tea, and add a teaspoon of chopped caraway to meals. “When I get indigestion,” Duke says, “I go to the garden, pick some peppermint, chew some leaves, and make tea. It works for me.”

(43) Peppermint for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS involves persistent abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea or constipation. British researchers at the University of Exeter analyzed five studies of peppermint oil as a treatment, and found that it provided benefit. (See the previous item for options and cautions.)

(44) Psyllium for Diarrhea and Constipation
Psyllium is a tiny seed that contains mucilage, a soluble fiber that swells on exposure to water. For diarrhea, psyllium can absorb excess fluid in the gut. For constipation, psyllium adds bulk to stool, which presses on the colon wall and triggers the nerves that produce the urge to go. You may find psyllium at health-food stores, but it’s easiest to take Metamucil, which is psyllium with flavoring. When using psyllium, drink plenty of water. Allergic reactions are possible.

(45) Red Pepper for Pain Relief
Capsaicin, the compound that gives red pepper (cayenne) its fiery flavor, is a potent topical pain reliever, according to the Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. When rubbed on the skin, it causes mild superficial burning. But that sensation desensitizes nearby pain nerves, and soothes pain in deeper tissues. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in several over-the-counter pain-relieving creams, such as Capsin, Zostrix and Pain-X.

(46) St. John’s Wort for Depression
For mild depression, St. John’s wort often works as well as Prozac and Zoloft, but with fewer side effects. “We recently concluded a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on St. John’s wort, and 21 of 23 studies support it for mild-to-moderate depression,” says Blumenthal. Studies showing benefits have used 600 to 1,800 mg a day; most have used 900 mg a day. Stomach upset is possible, and St. John’s wort interacts with many drugs, including possibly reducing the effectiveness of birth-control pills. Depression requires professional care; ask your physician about St. John’s wort.

(47) Saw Palmetto for Benign Prostate Enlargement
In a study published in the journal The Prostate, saw palmetto extract (32-0 mg) was compared with finasteride in 1,098 men with prostate symptoms. After 24 weeks, both treatments were equally effective, but the herb caused fewer side effects. Researchers at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center analyzed 18 studies and found saw palmetto to be effective for prostate symptoms.

(48) Tea for Heart Health
Tea, particularly green tea, has rocketed to prominence as an herbal medicine. It’s high in antioxidants, which help prevent heart disease. In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dutch researchers followed 3,454 residents of Rotterdam. Compared with those who drank no tea, those who drank two cups a day had 46 percent less risk of heart attack, while those who drank four cups a day enjoyed 69 percent lower risk. Drinking tea also improves survival odds after heart attack.

(49) Tea for Cancer Prevention
Researchers at the University of Southern California surveyed 501 Asian women with breast cancer and 594 who were cancer-free. Those who were cancer-free drank the most green tea; as consumption rose, risk fell. Also, Japanese researchers reported in Cancer Letters that breast-cancer survivors who drank three or more cups a day reduced the risk of recurrence. Green tea also appears to protect against cancers of the colon, rectum, and pancreas. Most research has used green tea.

(50) Tea for Bad Breath and Gum Disease
Forget breath mints. Instead, researchers at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry in Chicago suggest a cup of tea (black or green), which contains compounds that stop the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath. An added benefit: Tea helps prevent gum disease, the main cause of adult tooth loss.

(51) Tea Tree Oil for Athlete’s Foot
Tea tree isn’t tea; it’s an Australian plant with an antifungal, antiseptic oil. In a study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology, researchers had people with athlete’s foot apply tea tree oil (50 percent concentration) or a placebo. After four weeks, 31 percent of the placebo group and 64 percent of the tea tree contingent were cured. Pharmaceutical ointments work faster, but tea tree oil is clearly effective. “Apply it with a Q-tip twice a day,” Duke says.

(52) Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff
As reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Australian researchers studied 126 people with dandruff, which is caused by a skin fungus. Subjects were given either an ordinary shampoo or one containing 5 percent tea tree oil. After four weeks, flaking was reduced 11 percent in the plain-shampoo group, but 41 percent in those who used tea tree oil. It’s not a miracle cure, but if your dandruff shampoo isn’t working as well as you’d like, add a drop or two of tea tree oil each time you shampoo.

(53) Turmeric for Arthritis and Joint Injuries
Curcumin, the yellow pigment in this Indian spice, is an anti-inflammatory. In combination with boswellia, it treats osteoarthritis, according to investigators at India’s Central Drug Research Institute. Use turmeric or yellow curries in cooking. “I developed a recipe called ‘Arthritis Soup,’” Duke says, “containing lots of anti-inflammatory herbs. The recipe also calls for 2 tablespoons of turmeric.” When taking capsules, follow label directions.

(54) Valerian for Insomnia
Studies have shown that valerian aids sleep, often as well as pharmaceutical sedatives and without being addictive. In a study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, both treatments were equally effective. “Research strongly supports that valerian works,” Blumenthal says. “It’s been used widely and safely for hundreds of years.” Note: It takes a week or more to begin noticing benefit. Also, raw valerian root smells and tastes terrible (“like funky socks,” Blumenthal says), so pills are more palatable.

(55) White Willow Bark for Back Pain
White willow bark contains salicin, a close chemical relative of aspirin. According to a German study of 451 people with low back pain, 240 mg a day of willow bark worked better than conventional therapeutic options. Like aspirin, willow bark can cause stomach distress, and it shouldn’t be given to children.

The Witches Digest for Thursday, February 8th (Part 2 – Horoscopes, Tarot, Runes & Much More)

 

The Witches Digest for Thursday, February 8th

(Part 2 – Horoscopes, Tarot, Runes & Much More)

Some thoughts for 2018: Eris, Chiron & Uranus

A Plea For Our Mother

Chiron enters Aries 17th April 2018, returns to Pisces 25th September 2018, then returns to Aries 18th Feb 2019

Uranus enters Taurus 15th May 2018, returns to Aries 6th November 2018, then returns to Taurus 6th March 2019

Eris, the dwarf planet first discovered in January 2005, has been taking her time to seep into the collective psyche, sometimes wilfully ignored due to her challenging message. She speaks of visceral matters such as violence and revenge. Eris will fight to the death if she must and is active in revolution, warfare and the objectification of the ‘other’ which enables humankind to oppress, exploit and kill, often with seeming impunity. She is the violent struggle for survival, the ‘kill or be killed’ aspect of Mother Nature and the sheer bloody-minded tenacity of life even in the direst of circumstances. Eris dishes out retribution for transgression of natural laws and seeks revenge for wounds inflicted. She is a powerful force of cosmic nature, reaching out to wake us up to our potential for both violent resistance and peaceful but unmitigated struggle. She suffers no fools, takes no prisoners and refuses to back-down in the face of even the greatest forces stacked against her.

We all have a bit of Eris in us, but whether we meet her face to face depends upon our capacity to accept the ‘darker’ sides of our nature: violent impulses, deep-seated hatred and yearnings for revenge. If we struggle to recognise that, given the right circumstances, we too can become the terrorist, the oppressor, the revolutionary who sees blood spilt as an acceptable price for freedom, we will project Eris onto the world around us, fearing ‘the other’ who threatens us with their dearth of moral boundaries and lack of humanity. Eris brings into sharp relief the temptation to only see others as the problem, to project our own wild rage or vengeful spirit onto ‘them out there’.

Despite her raw power Eris speaks also of victimhood: an experience which can catalyse the impulse to rise-up, reset the balance of power and reclaim lost ground. This is the primal reaction to a loss of liberty and self-determination. Eris straddles the powerlessness of being subject to someone else’s malice and the remedial power of revenge, only for that revenge to trigger on-going cycles of conflict. She wants her own back, but is powerless to avoid being subject once more to the same impulse in another. Through Eris we reach the point of acceptance that sometimes people simply do terrible things and we must finally walk away if we want any semblance of peace. But for all that, she will fight for the disenfranchised and strengthen our spirit to stand against those who abuse their position. And perhaps most important of all, she enables us to stand strong in defence of our precious Mother Earth who is subject to the greatest and most sustained attack of all.

When Chiron in Pisces aligned with Eris in Aries between February 2016 and April 2017, we were coaxed into a deeper appreciation of what it means to be nature becoming aware of itself. The primal instinct and vital force that fuels our existence is also that which kills for food or to protect its young. It is the destruction of an earthquake, the boiling lava of a volcano, the devastation of a hurricane and monsoon rains beyond the land’s capacity to cope. Mother Nature can be a fearsome warrior as much as she is our mother. We must be too, at times, to protect her from the excesses of humanity’s obsession with its own desires.

Chiron remains in Pisces for a while longer, joining Eris in Aries in April, returning to Pisces in September, then arriving in Aries proper in February 2019. Chiron in Pisces and Eris in Aries make unusual bed-fellows, with Chiron so deeply compassionate and Eris so ardently militant! But together they reflect two powerful forces in the human spirit: the will to survive no matter what and the movement towards dissolution of self and compassion for all beings. They affirm that we must come through this together, for there is no merit in one prospering on the back of another’s demise. We cannot be separated when it comes to the crunch. I am you, you are me, we are all this planet and we reap as we sow, if not now, eventually.

As Chiron straddles the boundary between the final sign of the zodiac (Pisces) and the first (Aries) throughout 2018, it exhorts us to step-up our protection of this beautiful planet and honour, not exploit, her bounty. It reminds us time is short but healing change can be swift if we’re prepared to take the plunge, gather our courage and resolve to live differently now, not once our backs are so flat against the wall we simply have no choice. Mother Earth has suffered shockingly as a result of human ignorance, denial and narcissism for way too long. She lies bleeding at our feet and still we look away. But no more. Once Uranus begins its entry into Taurus in May 2018, the extent of our planet’s unbridled rage and unbounded love will become apparent in equal measure.  There’s already no going back, and by then moving forward with planet earth’s well-being front and centre will be an undeniable imperative. Whatever our personal challenges, our own private wounds and intimate struggles, we must attend to our relationship with our Mother first and foremost if we are ever to know true peace.

February 2018 Horoscope: A Mixed Bag

Read your monthly horoscope for February 2018

By Marie DeSimone, Tarot.com

 

Romance fills the air after February 10 thanks to Venus moving into gentle, mystical Pisces. Until March 6, everyone will either be looking for their ultimate soul mate or holding on to the fairytale romance they already have. The magic heightens on February 21 when Venus and Neptune embrace, creating a hypnotic spell for all in matters of the heart. Will you be swept away?

A stunning Solar Eclipse in Aquarius on February 15 will be at a gorgeous link to Uranus, the lord or ruler of this Eclipse. This rare and favorable connection promises a new start in group-related or humanitarian endeavors, as well as the ability for you to finally begin pursuing that quirky aspiration you’ve held in your heart for way too long.

If you have any important action to take, wait until after the hazy energy of February 17 passes. Mars will square off with Neptune at this time, creating more confusion and mixed messages around action taken. This will prove frustrating not only for you, but for anyone else in your environment trying to get anything important off the ground. It’s a better idea to use this cycle for imaginative pursuits rather than anything connected to your major goals and ambitions. Sexual fantasies might also be more interesting than your sexual reality at this time, so if there’s a disappointing experience in bed, know that it’s only temporary.

The month comes to a close with some frustrating communication links. Mercury and Neptune align on February 25, and Mercury will square off with Mars on February 28. There might be a conversation you have with someone that misleads you during these days. If so, you may become quite angry and argumentative about it. In fact, your words will bite.

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

Your Horoscopes for Thursday, February 8th

 

Aries

Aries
Aries

This is a day in which you may be itching to do, feel, or experience something new, dear Aries, with the Moon in your adventure sector approaching alignment with Mars. You might also feed a hunger for knowledge. Because you’re primarily focused on taking action, you may be learning through experience or meditating in motion now for best results. You find it more comfortable than usual to go after what you want today, and it’s likely that few people, if any, will interfere. In fact, a Sun-Mars connection suggests a very creative way of pursuing your desires now. You might get fired up about a belief or idea today. You’re a natural leader, making it an opportune time to take the initiative, and you’re in great shape for approaching friends. Brilliant ideas about new projects or ventures can come to mind now.

 

Taurus

Taurus
Taurus

The Moon moves into your intimacy sector, dear Taurus, stimulating a need to look more deeply into matters, as well as to explore your feelings more intensely. Emotions can be inflamed but internalized as the Moon moves towards an alignment with Mars. It can be an exciting day on intimate or emotional levels, but also brilliant for ideas related to work, reputation, or career matters and long-term goals. It’s an excellent time for strategy related to these things and for maneuvers and plans that move you into a more favorable light or position with others. Today can also be a good time for productivity, research, and analysis. The need for more glamor, mystery, or emotional excitement in your life becomes obvious today. You may be more sensitive to imbalances of power, and you might quickly become fired up if you experience frustrating power dynamics.

 

Gemini

Gemini
Gemini

The Moon moves into your partnership zone today, dear Gemini, and will spend a couple of days here. Mars is already here, and with this combination, there can be a noticeable increase in demands placed on you from other people or animated interactions and feelings in your relationships. A significant encounter might occur. Brilliant ideas are likely today, mainly related to higher education, belief systems, and publishing. Important players may seem to be holding power now, at the very least over your attention. Keep in mind that with your partnership zone highly activated, you can get a fuller picture of your issues if you take another’s point of view into account. Any conflict stirred now may be more about what you’re not accepting in yourself than about other people or outside circumstances. Although overly hasty or rash actions taken now might rebound on you, some healthy risk-taking might help you to break the routine and get you out of a rut. A Mercury-Uranus connection is excellent for networking, sharing ideas, stimulating conversations, and coming across useful information.

Cancer

Cancer
Cancer

The Moon moves into your work and health sector today, dear Cancer, and you’re inclined to see life for its details and problems. With Mars in this sector of your solar chart already, you can quickly become charged up about these things, either to your advantage or disadvantage! This can be an especially productive time for work, health, and practical affairs if you’re poised to take action on the flaws, problems, and details that seem to be amiss. If you tame impulsiveness, acting on a health matter or pushing yourself just a little to improve your fitness efforts can be welcome now. For others, there can be a strong desire to become more organized and efficient. If you are feeling restless, pouring energy into little projects can help since you have an emotional need to keep busy or to accomplish something constructive. It’s also a powerful time for research and analysis. You’re in an excellent place for finding creative answers or solutions to problems now.

Leo

Leo
Leo

The Moon moves into your sector of fun and games today, dear Leo, and you’re likely to gravitate towards recreational or leisure activities. Or, you’re ready to find ways to mingle, create, and share. With Mars already in this sector, this can be an emotionally charged time, as the Moon and Mars act to fire up your passions in a mostly pleasant way in this area of your solar chart. If you find yourself frustrated or restless, it may be that you need a proper channel for expressing yourself. This combination, as well as a Sun-Mars quintile active today, increase your resourcefulness and confidence. Your instincts are great, but you’re also in a beautiful position to strategize and make plans. You react well to competition and may very well be the favored party now.

 

Virgo

Virgo
Virgo

The Moon moves into your home and family sector today, dear Virgo, and eventually bumps into Mars there. This combination is emotionally exciting, stimulating you into action. Sometimes, it can prompt a bit of combativeness, particularly with those closest to you, but if channeled constructively, this extra energy can be highly useful. On an emotional level, you’re in great shape for insight into others’ motives and desires, even if they are doing their best to keep these things to themselves. You may be inclined to want to stick around the home or do familiar things, but you can also decide to pour energy into home-related projects or family activities. The desire to initiate a long-term project frequently emerges with the fourth house, where both Mars and the Moon are in your solar chart right now. On another level, you may be eager for support, nurture, or comfort, and you go out of your way to find these things. Or, you can feel particularly motivated to make personal improvements. Your senses are working overtime now. Ideas related to work and health coming to you today can be brilliant.

Libra 

Libra
Libra

The Moon moves into your communications sector today, dear Libra. Mars is already in this area of your solar chart, stirring your enthusiasm or passion for learning and connecting, as well as for your ideas. As such, with Moon-Mars here, there can be a busy, buzzing theme to the day. It may be that you have many projects and activities that you are juggling now, or that you’re going all out with a particular project or personal interest. There can be more spontaneity in your communications, and this can be of great benefit, particularly if you need a bit of extra courage to get something off your chest. While this emotional transit might lead to impulsive moves and speech, you have a very strategic Sun-Mars connection helping you out in this regard today, and you’ll probably quickly figure out that pushing something won’t get you closer to achieving what you want. You might feel a special camaraderie with a partner or friend today, chiefly through shared interests or direct communications.

Scorpio

Scorpio
Scorpio

The Moon moves into your solar second house today, dear Scorpio, and you may be especially interested in attending to prized personal possessions or building up a project, business, or venture. Mars is already in this area of your chart, and with the Moon and Mars meeting here, a desire for taking action or starting something new can take hold. It may be that a money or ownership matter grabs your attention, and you need or want to handle it immediately, or take clear steps towards resolving a problem. There is some tendency to identify strongly with what you own, or there can be a sense that you need to prove yourself to someone, and conflicts may arise. However, you’re also very concerned about quick resolutions, and you’re in a great position to take care of business that you might avoid entirely on another day. While the Moon and Mars both incline towards impulsiveness, a Sun-Mars connection today can help you get very creative with your plans and strategies, helping you make the right moves. This can be a very resourceful time when you are inclined to make the most of what you have.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius
Sagittarius

The Moon moves into your sign today, dear Sagittarius, and your emotional needs come into sharper focus. With Mars already in Sagittarius and the Moon heading towards alignment with Mars, you can quickly become all fired up today! It can be easy to get a rise out of you, and you’re in a fabulous position for taking the initiative. It can be an emotionally brave or spunky day, although perhaps a little impatient at times as well. You have the self-confidence and backbone to go after what you want, and with a creative Sun-Mars connection active as well, you can choose to do so through direct communications most successfully now. Interference from others is unlikely with the kind of natural confidence you’re displaying. You are more resourceful and less demanding of people around you, and others respect your boundaries and independence.

 

Capricorn

Capricorn
Capricorn

The Moon moves into your soul sector today, dear Capricorn, and for today and the next couple of days, you’re likely to need to tie up loose ends and attend to your private life or process recent events before a new cycle begins. Mars is already in this area of your solar chart, and with Mars and the Moon building towards an alignment, a lot of your energy is channeled into private matters. Or, much is going on behind the scenes in your life. Your dreaming life and memories may be playing a stronger role than usual. Emotions are all fired up, and the need to take action can overcome you now. Finding ways to renew your energy and heal yourself can be most successful now.

 

Aquarius

Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon moves into your social sector today, dear Aquarius, and you can experience a distinct need to decompress from professional demands or recent responsibilities. Mars is already in this sector of your solar chart, stimulating your inventive, innovative nature. Today, the itch to do something new and unusual or to get a project rolling is building. While you tend to be quite independent-minded today, group activities and cooperative efforts may very well help you achieve your goals more efficiently at the moment. You may be defending someone or a belief with enthusiasm and vigor. You might enjoy helping others now. It’s an excellent time for coming together with a partner, as well, or for teaming up to accomplish something worthwhile.

Aries

Aries
Aries

This is a day in which you may be itching to do, feel, or experience something new, dear Aries, with the Moon in your adventure sector approaching alignment with Mars. You might also feed a hunger for knowledge. Because you’re primarily focused on taking action, you may be learning through experience or meditating in motion now for best results. You find it more comfortable than usual to go after what you want today, and it’s likely that few people, if any, will interfere. In fact, a Sun-Mars connection suggests a very creative way of pursuing your desires now. You might get fired up about a belief or idea today. You’re a natural leader, making it an opportune time to take the initiative, and you’re in great shape for approaching friends. Brilliant ideas about new projects or ventures can come to mind now.

 

Taurus

Taurus
Taurus

The Moon moves into your intimacy sector, dear Taurus, stimulating a need to look more deeply into matters, as well as to explore your feelings more intensely. Emotions can be inflamed but internalized as the Moon moves towards an alignment with Mars. It can be an exciting day on intimate or emotional levels, but also brilliant for ideas related to work, reputation, or career matters and long-term goals. It’s an excellent time for strategy related to these things and for maneuvers and plans that move you into a more favorable light or position with others. Today can also be a good time for productivity, research, and analysis. The need for more glamor, mystery, or emotional excitement in your life becomes obvious today. You may be more sensitive to imbalances of power, and you might quickly become fired up if you experience frustrating power dynamics.

 

Gemini

Gemini
Gemini

The Moon moves into your partnership zone today, dear Gemini, and will spend a couple of days here. Mars is already here, and with this combination, there can be a noticeable increase in demands placed on you from other people or animated interactions and feelings in your relationships. A significant encounter might occur. Brilliant ideas are likely today, mainly related to higher education, belief systems, and publishing. Important players may seem to be holding power now, at the very least over your attention. Keep in mind that with your partnership zone highly activated, you can get a fuller picture of your issues if you take another’s point of view into account. Any conflict stirred now may be more about what you’re not accepting in yourself than about other people or outside circumstances. Although overly hasty or rash actions taken now might rebound on you, some healthy risk-taking might help you to break the routine and get you out of a rut. A Mercury-Uranus connection is excellent for networking, sharing ideas, stimulating conversations, and coming across useful information.

Cancer

Cancer
Cancer

The Moon moves into your work and health sector today, dear Cancer, and you’re inclined to see life for its details and problems. With Mars in this sector of your solar chart already, you can quickly become charged up about these things, either to your advantage or disadvantage! This can be an especially productive time for work, health, and practical affairs if you’re poised to take action on the flaws, problems, and details that seem to be amiss. If you tame impulsiveness, acting on a health matter or pushing yourself just a little to improve your fitness efforts can be welcome now. For others, there can be a strong desire to become more organized and efficient. If you are feeling restless, pouring energy into little projects can help since you have an emotional need to keep busy or to accomplish something constructive. It’s also a powerful time for research and analysis. You’re in an excellent place for finding creative answers or solutions to problems now.

Leo

Leo
Leo

The Moon moves into your sector of fun and games today, dear Leo, and you’re likely to gravitate towards recreational or leisure activities. Or, you’re ready to find ways to mingle, create, and share. With Mars already in this sector, this can be an emotionally charged time, as the Moon and Mars act to fire up your passions in a mostly pleasant way in this area of your solar chart. If you find yourself frustrated or restless, it may be that you need a proper channel for expressing yourself. This combination, as well as a Sun-Mars quintile active today, increase your resourcefulness and confidence. Your instincts are great, but you’re also in a beautiful position to strategize and make plans. You react well to competition and may very well be the favored party now.

Virgo

Virgo
Virgo

The Moon moves into your home and family sector today, dear Virgo, and eventually bumps into Mars there. This combination is emotionally exciting, stimulating you into action. Sometimes, it can prompt a bit of combativeness, particularly with those closest to you, but if channeled constructively, this extra energy can be highly useful. On an emotional level, you’re in great shape for insight into others’ motives and desires, even if they are doing their best to keep these things to themselves. You may be inclined to want to stick around the home or do familiar things, but you can also decide to pour energy into home-related projects or family activities. The desire to initiate a long-term project frequently emerges with the fourth house, where both Mars and the Moon are in your solar chart right now. On another level, you may be eager for support, nurture, or comfort, and you go out of your way to find these things. Or, you can feel particularly motivated to make personal improvements. Your senses are working overtime now. Ideas related to work and health coming to you today can be brilliant.

Libra 

Libra
Libra

The Moon moves into your communications sector today, dear Libra. Mars is already in this area of your solar chart, stirring your enthusiasm or passion for learning and connecting, as well as for your ideas. As such, with Moon-Mars here, there can be a busy, buzzing theme to the day. It may be that you have many projects and activities that you are juggling now, or that you’re going all out with a particular project or personal interest. There can be more spontaneity in your communications, and this can be of great benefit, particularly if you need a bit of extra courage to get something off your chest. While this emotional transit might lead to impulsive moves and speech, you have a very strategic Sun-Mars connection helping you out in this regard today, and you’ll probably quickly figure out that pushing something won’t get you closer to achieving what you want. You might feel a special camaraderie with a partner or friend today, chiefly through shared interests or direct communications.

Scorpio

Scorpio
Scorpio

The Moon moves into your solar second house today, dear Scorpio, and you may be especially interested in attending to prized personal possessions or building up a project, business, or venture. Mars is already in this area of your chart, and with the Moon and Mars meeting here, a desire for taking action or starting something new can take hold. It may be that a money or ownership matter grabs your attention, and you need or want to handle it immediately, or take clear steps towards resolving a problem. There is some tendency to identify strongly with what you own, or there can be a sense that you need to prove yourself to someone, and conflicts may arise. However, you’re also very concerned about quick resolutions, and you’re in a great position to take care of business that you might avoid entirely on another day. While the Moon and Mars both incline towards impulsiveness, a Sun-Mars connection today can help you get very creative with your plans and strategies, helping you make the right moves. This can be a very resourceful time when you are inclined to make the most of what you have.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius
Sagittarius

The Moon moves into your sign today, dear Sagittarius, and your emotional needs come into sharper focus. With Mars already in Sagittarius and the Moon heading towards alignment with Mars, you can quickly become all fired up today! It can be easy to get a rise out of you, and you’re in a fabulous position for taking the initiative. It can be an emotionally brave or spunky day, although perhaps a little impatient at times as well. You have the self-confidence and backbone to go after what you want, and with a creative Sun-Mars connection active as well, you can choose to do so through direct communications most successfully now. Interference from others is unlikely with the kind of natural confidence you’re displaying. You are more resourceful and less demanding of people around you, and others respect your boundaries and independence.

Capricorn

Capricorn
Capricorn

The Moon moves into your soul sector today, dear Capricorn, and for today and the next couple of days, you’re likely to need to tie up loose ends and attend to your private life or process recent events before a new cycle begins. Mars is already in this area of your solar chart, and with Mars and the Moon building towards an alignment, a lot of your energy is channeled into private matters. Or, much is going on behind the scenes in your life. Your dreaming life and memories may be playing a stronger role than usual. Emotions are all fired up, and the need to take action can overcome you now. Finding ways to renew your energy and heal yourself can be most successful now.

Aquarius

Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon moves into your social sector today, dear Aquarius, and you can experience a distinct need to decompress from professional demands or recent responsibilities. Mars is already in this sector of your solar chart, stimulating your inventive, innovative nature. Today, the itch to do something new and unusual or to get a project rolling is building. While you tend to be quite independent-minded today, group activities and cooperative efforts may very well help you achieve your goals more efficiently at the moment. You may be defending someone or a belief with enthusiasm and vigor. You might enjoy helping others now. It’s an excellent time for coming together with a partner, as well, or for teaming up to accomplish something worthwhile.

Pisces

Pisces
Pisces

The Moon moves into your career and reputation sector today, dear Pisces, and you have business — or responsibility — on your mind. It eventually meets Mars, already in this sector, and this creates quite a charge, inspiring you to take action or make a mark. This is a day for feeling large and in charge! You can have a rush of desire to take action on your goals or to get important things done, and you’re likely to feel stronger for accomplishing something tangible right now. You’re focused on the long-term now. At this time of the lunar month, you could be feeling that all eyes are on you. You can’t seem to escape attention! This might give you a wake-up call to areas of your life in which you’ve been a little slack. For the most part, you can do quite well under pressure today. A Sun-Mars connection helps tame the impulsive and impatient qualities of Moon-Mars and puts you in a great position to strategize with confidence.

Pisces

Pisces
Pisces

The Moon moves into your career and reputation sector today, dear Pisces, and you have business — or responsibility — on your mind. It eventually meets Mars, already in this sector, and this creates quite a charge, inspiring you to take action or make a mark. This is a day for feeling large and in charge! You can have a rush of desire to take action on your goals or to get important things done, and you’re likely to feel stronger for accomplishing something tangible right now. You’re focused on the long-term now. At this time of the lunar month, you could be feeling that all eyes are on you. You can’t seem to escape attention! This might give you a wake-up call to areas of your life in which you’ve been a little slack. For the most part, you can do quite well under pressure today. A Sun-Mars connection helps tame the impulsive and impatient qualities of Moon-Mars and puts you in a great position to strategize with confidence.

 

Source

Cafe Astrology

If You Were Born Today, February 8

There is nothing modest about your ambitions, although you are generally patient enough to pursue your long-term goals. You also have the drive and spirit to achieve success. You are a responsible and respectable person who believes in being fair to all. You are confident and frank, but also friendly and tactful. Work is extremely important to you, and you have little patience for those who don’t do their fair share. You possess much stamina. Others can truly count on you! Famous people born today: James Dean, Seth Green, Lana Turner, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Nolte.

Your Birthday Year Forecast:

Your birthday occurs around a Third Quarter Moon this year, and you are reaching an important turning point in terms of personal growth. You may be more emotional this year, and should watch for unnecessary conflicts and making hasty decisions as a result. Otherwise, this is a year of greater understanding and a strong desire to take care of business. This should be a busy, dynamic period in your life.

Especially good energy is with you for debate or energetic mental work. You benefit from an active and clear mind this year. This can be a good year to eliminate wasteful activities. You may be involved in frequent lectures, debates, and discussions during the year. You can convey your ideas more powerfully than usual. You are quick to take the initiative and to put your thoughts into action. Adventuresome travel may be part of the picture. You may be more actively involved with young people.

You are willing to put in the effort for a mental interest or project, and you can feel pleasantly dedicated to your work or ideas. You are more able to focus on what you’re doing and communicating and are more inclined to notice and consider details.

This is a time when you feel confident and supported enough to pursue your desires. It’s a good period for making yourself feel more secure and safe, as well as for family or domestic activities. This is also a period when you more readily support or defend others.

You are seeking out equal, fair, and balanced relationships. There can be a stronger inclination towards togetherness and sharing, creating harmony, and sharing power now. You may gain an advantage in business or finances or by promoting harmony and beauty.

You’re in a particularly good position for social meetings and events this year. You’re inclined to happily embrace all that is new, unusual, and out-of-the-ordinary with regards to romantic involvements as well as financial undertakings. This could be a good year for financial undertakings involving electronics, technology, the internet, metaphysics, and the arts, as well as group activities. You have a taste for the offbeat this year, and this energy can bring sudden or unexpected romance into your life, perhaps a scenario that feels like love at first sight.

You have a stronger ability to direct your energies into meaningful activities. In some ways, you can be quite self-contained as you pursue passion projects.

This is an excellent period for enterprising endeavors and new interests. You’re drawn instinctively to certain projects that have long-term value. It can be an especially creative, tuned-in year for self-expression, not only verbally but through hobbies, games, or sports. Even so, you’re especially charming and diplomatic, investing much in your relationships. Optimism can run high, but be careful of blind optimism and extravagance.

2018 is a Number Three year for you. Ruled by Jupiter. This is a year of sociability. It is a friendly time when you find it natural and easy to enjoy life and other people. The focus is on personal freedom, reaching out to others, making new friends, and exploration. You are more enthusiastic and ready for adventure than you are in other years. It’s likely to be a rather lighthearted year when opportunities for “play” time are greater than usual. It’s also a favorable year for expressing your creativity. Advice – reach out and connect but avoid scattering your energies.

2019 will be a Number Four year for you. Ruled by Uranus. This is a year of work and development. It’s “nose to the grindstone” time. It’s a time to pay special attention to practical matters, and it’s not a time to be lazy or especially gregarious. Sometimes, it can be a year that feels hard, monotonous and routine, and/or lonely. Positive new relationships are often not formed in a Four personal year. However, it can be a wonderful year for building, development, and laying a solid foundation for future successes. Advice – get yourself organized, work to build your resources, keep busy

Source

Cafe Astrology

Get a Jump on Tomorrow…..

Your Daily Horoscopes for Friday, February 9th

 

Aries

Aries
Aries

Early today, there can be difficulty combining your needs for socializing and the demands of your responsibilities, dear Aries, as the Sun in your social sector clashes with Saturn in your career sector. Finding a balance may not be easy at the moment until you decide upon your real priorities. Watch also for falling back on detached communications when a more personal touch would be best. Connections with people with whom you share common goals or interests can be satisfying as the day advances. Positive body language, personal warmth, and willingness to take on challenges are winning themes now. You can feel inspired to do your best. Physical outlets for your energy and activities that keep you engaged and in motion can be especially appealing and satisfying today and tomorrow.

 

Taurus

Taurus
Taurus

This morning, you may not be in the best position to push your agenda with a Sun-Saturn influence stirring up some resistance to change, dear Taurus. You may need to slow yourself down and look for errors in your approach before going forward, especially with business or long-term goals. As the day advances, there can be much passion behind the scenes today. You’re in a good position to take care of personal matters and for spending time with family, or you may find it particularly useful or satisfying to become engrossed in research, a book, movie, or anything that provides a nice escape. You may be especially protective of someone or something today. You are courageous when it comes to tackling difficult, complicated, or sensitive topics right now, and you can quite expertly solve a mystery.

 

Gemini

Gemini
Gemini

This morning, a Sun-Saturn influence can stir up some stubbornness or resistance, dear Gemini, making it a less than ideal time for reaching an understanding. Consider a more direct approach to going after what you want now, as there is a tendency to worry so much that we make things more convoluted than they need be. As the day advances, your timing improves as confidence builds. A feeling that you can assert yourself without crossing boundaries affords you a good sense of freedom. Others tend to encourage your faith in yourself and your future now. Activities that invigorate you can be satisfying, and may very well involve cooperating with a team or partner which can save a lot of time and bring pleasure to your life to boot. Interactions are at once soothing and inspiring now. Relationships, studies, and conversations can feel good.

 

Cancer

Cancer
Cancer

A Sun-Saturn minor challenge this morning can weigh down your interactions with others a little, dear Cancer. People may seem to be demanding a lot from you, making filling your own needs tricky. Avoid pushing things, slow down, and regain your composure. Try to put personal issues and emotions, which can too easily cloud your judgment today, aside so that you can take care of business. The day advances far more confidently, and you’re likely to enjoy a beautiful balance between dynamism and structure. You’re up to quickly resolving problems and facing challenges head-on now. This is a favorable time for releasing tension through physical activity, massage, exercise, or other endeavors that help free the flow of energy in your body as Mars and Ceres form a relationship in earthy houses of your solar chart today.

 

Leo

Leo
Leo

With your ruler, the Sun, in minor friction to Saturn this morning, you may experience frustrations over methods used to accomplish personal tasks, dear Leo. It can be all too easy to become annoyed over minor details. Let go of rigid expectations now for best results. The need to pay some homage to a partnership or partner may arise now as well. Natural confidence is with you as the day advances, with energetic Mars moving into a harmonious angle with Ceres in your sign. Others might especially enjoy your company, and it can be an excellent time for making connections or enhancing bonds. You might find yourself in the position of role model, caregiver, mentor, or facilitator today. Self-improvement efforts can be an active focus.

 

Virgo

Virgo
Virgo

This morning, you may be focusing too intently on the physical or practical side of a problem, dear Virgo, when a more holistic approach would serve you better. This week, you may decide to reassess a particular service you provide for the sake of growing and improving on an emotional plane. A Sun-Saturn minor challenge can lead to mixed feelings and mixed messages, mainly due to distractions and divided attention. However, we move towards a Mars-Ceres aspect as the day advances that is wonderful for enhancing bonds and feeling satisfied with family or domestic support and activities. It’s also an ideal time for self-nurturing, and efforts to heal and renew yourself emotionally and physically are highly favored. Forgiveness now is a kindness to yourself, not only others. Creating a dynamic domestic environment that’s at once productive and engaging can be satisfying today and tomorrow.

Libra 

Libra
Libra

This morning, home-related problems or personal responsibilities can weigh you down a little and prevent you from enjoying yourself to your full potential, dear Libra, as a Sun-Saturn aspect reminds you of your obligations. There may also be a question of whether a friendship or connection to a group is encouraging your growth, or you could feel a little hesitant about expressing an unpopular opinion. As the day advances, you feel less tied to the past and more naturally decisive, and this energy follows you into tomorrow. Confidence in your relationships and projects builds. Team or group activities and contributions can be satisfying. People in your life seem to encourage or inspire you to express yourself more confidently.

 

Scorpio

Scorpio
Scorpio

This morning, you can be feeling quite sensitive or uncertain about your plans or ideas, dear Scorpio, or you may encounter the need to go back over something and redo or fix errors. Take the time to rework before laying things out for others to critique. A Sun-Saturn challenge early today can pull up resistance to change and people, in general, are a little less open-minded, making it less than ideal for presenting your ideas or your case! As the day advances, problem-solving of the practical variety can be particularly favorable, and you can be quite determined and ambitious as your confidence builds. You may solve a financial or work problem creatively with this faith in yourself and willingness to take on a challenge.

 

Sagittarius

Sagittarius
Sagittarius

Your communications are particularly friendly and personal these days, dear Sagittarius, although this morning, you may crave a little extra peace or order that requires you to tune out distractions. You may be dealing with a situation in which others are slacking off while you’d rather they tend to business. Adjusting your manner may be necessary to get where you want to go now. For some, financial matters may weigh you down. As the day advances, though, you come into your own as Mars in your sign catches a beautiful aspect to Ceres. This can be an active, auspicious time for pursuing a course, interest, or connection. Others tend to help build your confidence through their support, particularly of your ideas or methods, and you are ready to take on virtually any challenge or problem. You’re willing to take the lead, especially if it helps someone out.

 

Capricorn

Capricorn
Capricorn

This morning, you may need to seek out more realistic and practical solutions to problems, dear Capricorn, and this can be a bit of a downer just for now. With enthusiasm waning, it might appear as if you need to put more effort into chores and tasks that you’d rather not take on. However, do your best not to over-identify with what seem to be slowdowns, failures, and errors. These have little to do with you personally, and more to do with life itself as it is currently demanding that you pay more attention to detail. This is particularly important for you in general since Saturn has been transiting your sign and will continue to do so for a couple more years. As the day advances, you’re less inclined to overthink things and more willing to take positive action. It’s a great time for reconnecting with your inner self. You’re likely to enjoy a nice balance of give-and-take as well as clear boundaries in your close relationships today and tomorrow.

Aquarius

Aquarius
Aquarius

This morning, you may be coming across in such a way that people are seeing you as stronger and less vulnerable than you are actually feeling, dear Aquarius, with the Sun in your sign in minor friction with Saturn. This can lead to some missteps and perhaps even hurt feelings. It’s quite temporary and simply requires some readjustment as you take a moment to look backward before going forward. The tendency to take on more than is necessary is with you now when sharing or delegating may be better for you. As the day advances, you tend to embrace activities rather than overthink things. It’s a good time for strengthening ties with friends and groups, or for working cooperatively towards common goals. Friends or associates can inspire you or encourage you to pursue your goals confidently, and you are filled with enterprising spirit.

 

Pisces

Pisces
Pisces

This morning, energy is on the tricky side, dear Pisces, as the Sun and Saturn form an aspect that leaves you feeling divided between the need for personal space and obligations to others. You might also be holding back or trying to avoid tasks, and this doesn’t serve you well in the long run. You’re better off facing what you need to do. As the day advances, confidence builds naturally. We move towards an empowering Mars-Ceres aspect that falls in your work, health, and goals sectors. You’re ready to take charge. Ambition builds pleasantly, and you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done. It can feel great to achieve and perform at your own pace right now. People tend to follow your lead or let you do your own thing.

 

 

Source

Astrology Cafe

 

Psychic Tip of the Day

FIZZLING OUT
If you have been in a relationship for a short time, someone might let out too much information and take the bloom off the rose. Can you keep a little mystery in your presentation?

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

 

Tarot Card of the Day

Page of Swords


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This card is traditionally entitled The Page, but in some modern decks appears as a Princess. The traditional interpretation is about a messenger, an emissary or liaison between separate camps, charged with faithfully representing one side’s communications to the other. Because of this role, we do not think of this person as a servant, but rather as a diplomat, facilitating sensitive negotiations, often under difficult conditions.

This person is acting as the eyes and ears of her patron, and so she is sometimes referred to as The Watchman. Even kings are powerless if this messenger chooses to use her access to sensitive information for her own gain, as is implied by her other name, The Spy.

She could even be working as a double agent, playing both sides against each other to serve her own agenda. Her title is really camouflage in itself, serving as protective coloration so she can move among the people unrecognized, collecting information anonymously. Her vigilance often conceals an ulterior motive. She is a watcher who must herself be watched, because she dreams of someday taking matters into her own hands, preempting the plans of her employers.

 

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

Tarot 101:  How to Do a Year-Ahead Tarot Reading

A Tarot spread for a year … and for any long-term goals!

This 7-card Tarot spread is a powerful tool to see where you’ve been and where you’re going on your personal journey. Here’s the layout and the positions for your very own yearly Tarot reading. This Year Ahead Tarot spread is actually extremely versatile — you can use it to get a deeper look at the new year, or anytime you want to look at long-term goals! Use the power of this Year Ahead Tarot reading to gain insight, get clarity, find resolution, and make a transformation! It’s time to reveal your year ahead!

7-Card Year-Ahead Tarot Spread Positions

Position 1: Your Sunset Card

Lessons from the previous year

This first card in the spread looks at what you’ve accomplished (or not) in the past year. For this card, focus on the past — but with an eye toward using that energy for the future. There is always something to be learned from the past, and it shapes who you are, so let this card take you back for a moment before we move forward.

Position 2: Your Horizon Card

What you can expect in the next year

What do you want to achieve in the next year? What are your biggest hopes and aspirations? Choose your second card, and focus your mind on what you’d like to see happen in your life — whether that’s finding a new relationship, tackling a new career goal, or even just spending more time relaxing. Search inside yourself to determine your highest purpose for the year.

Position 3: Your Obstacle Card

A challenge you’ll face this year

Let’s face it — everything worth having comes with challenges. The important thing is to face them with thoughtfulness and poise. This third Tarot card will give you a glimpse at the type of challenge you may encounter as you strive to achieve the objective you set with the Horizon card.

Position 4: Your Strength Card

How to harness your inner power

Now that you’ve seen your challenges, how are you going to resolve any issues that arise? Let the Tarot cards reveal that in this fourth position. What inner talents and strengths do you possess that can help you? What untapped energies exist that you can use this year? Let this Tarot card guide you and free you from doubt as you find the confidence to succeed.

Position 5: Your Advice Card

Lessons you learned last year

Now that you’ve looked back and determined where you want to go in the future, take a second to examine what you have learned so far. This lesson, whatever it is, will inform your next steps. What is this Tarot card telling you to do now? What happened last year that you want to avoid this year or what happened that you want to repeat? Ask yourself these types of questions as you look at the Tarot card to help yourself understand the lesson it’s trying to impart.

Position 6: Your Navigation Card

Guidance for the year ahead

This is the card you have been waiting for. Look at the Tarot card and ask, “What do I feel right now is the very best action for me to take?” The card’s character should help you focus your mind and your energy. You might want to write down your thoughts, or compile a list of the next steps you want to take on your journey. It’s hard sometimes to see how to reach large milestones, but life is full of small moments that we can use to our best advantage — if we take the time to plan and prepare ourselves now.

Position 7: Your Clarity Card

Your personal theme for the year

Even though you have examined the lessons of the past, chosen your aim, and even looked at how to reach it, you may still need to find clarity. In this case, maybe focus on the big picture — how does all of this fit into your overall life plan? What type of person are you hoping to become? What does this mean for your higher purpose? Use that energy to set your intention for the year to come, and tell yourself exactly what that is, say it out loud and imprint it in your heart and mind.

There you have it! A quick 7-card Tarot spread that will allow you to determine your heart’s desire and achieve your highest goals for the upcoming year.

 

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

Your Monthly Tarot Card for February: Strength

Practicing compassion

Being secure in our identity allows us to approach the world with compassion and understanding instead of fear and aggression. Inner strength is often a more helpful resource for navigating the world than brute force. Our ability to apply this type of influence will be either needed or enhanced this month. We must pay close attention in interactions with others and confront our own negative internal dialogue should it attempt to instill self-doubt.

Your Love Tarot Card

The Devil

______________________________________________

Thursday, February 8th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you feel caught between the ‘Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?’ This card represents insight and ability to rise above and to surmount obstacles in the way of love. The chains that bind the couple on the Tarot card are loose and symbolic of the ability to slip away if they want to. In this light, they are self-imposed limitations. Break free today if this sounds like your situation.

 

Your Erotic Tarot Card

The Sun

_____________________________________________

Thursday, February 8th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sun card shows that you may be feeling a little exposed and vulnerable as parts of your sex life are illuminated, but there is also an overwhelming feeling of warmth and positivity. Once you get over those self-conscious feelings, a wave of self-confidence replaces your fears. No one is out of your reach when the Sun is shining down on you. Embrace your power and don’t be afraid to get naked both emotionally and physically!

 

Your Daily Influences for the Thursday, February 8th

 

Tarot Influence

The Seven of Wands

Courage will bring victory. Success seems certain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astrological Influence

Capricorn

Capricorn denotes a drive to succeed through a pragmatic approach to life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Element Influence

Earth Reversed

Earth reversed denotes a lack of positive connection with the life spirit–a lost soul. If you are not careful you may miss much of what life has to offer you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Daily Rune for Thursday, February 8th

Algiz

(or Elhaz)

“Al-jiz” – Literally: “Elk” – Esoteric: Protection, Highe

Energy: protective teaching force, the divine plan, Valkyries

Mundane: protection, safety, spirituality

Divinations: Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life, protection; or hidden danger, consumption by divine forces, loss of the divine link, fear.

Governs:
Strengthening of hamingja (personal gravity, ‘luck’) and life force through courageous deeds
Mystical and religious communication with non-human sentient beings
Communication with other worlds, especially Asgard
Protection/defense
Receiving instruction on the magical potential of the runes
Banishing the fear of death

 

Your Animal Spirit for Thursday, February 8th

 

 

The Wisdom of Buddha

The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.

 

Moon and planets before sunup February 9 to 11

Now the waning moon has swept past Jupiter, and – on the mornings of February 9 to 11, 2018 – it’ll pass Mars and Saturn. You’ll find the planets in the southeast as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere (closer to due east from the Southern Hemisphere).

The king planet Jupiter is not shown on the chart at top, but you can see it in the photos below, or click back to this chart. And – in the early morning sky – you’ll find bright Jupiter to the west of Mars and Saturn.

Both Jupiter and Saturn outshine Mars at present. Jupiter, the brightest morning planet, shines about 17 times more brightly than Mars; and Saturn, the most distant world that you can easily see with the eye alone, shines a bit more than one and one-half times brighter than the red planet Mars in early February 2018. The moon will be closest to Saturn Sunday morning, February 11, by the way.

A bright red star – Antares, brightest star in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion – is also nearby.

The name Antares is derived from the ancient Greek term which roughly translates to like Ares, because the ruddy color of this red supergiant star mimics that of the red planet Mars (the Greek Ares or Roman Mars).

You’ll have an excellent chance to contrast the red star Antares with the red planet Mars in the February 2018 morning sky. It’s often said that stars tend to twinkle while planets shine more steadily. Look to see if this general rule holds true.

Also, notice the brightness of these two objects. They’re about equally bright now, but Mars might look brighter than Antares by February’s end. Mars is going to have a spectacular year in 2018. Start watching it now, and see it get brighter than Antares, or Saturn – or even Jupiter – by late July.

Read more: Mars brighter in 2018 than since 2003

Keep an eye on Mars. It’s going to have a spectacular year in 2018, coming closer to us around late July 2018 than since 2003 … when it was closer than it had been for 60,000 years! Read more about Mars in 2018.

Mars will brighten considerably over the months ahead. It’ll match Saturn in brightness in a little over a month from now. Mars will go on to have a conjunction with Saturn on April 2, 2018.

By July 2018, Mars will exceed Jupiter in brightness!

 The moon and the planets of the solar system are always found on or near the ecliptic – Earth’s orbital plane projected onto the celestial sphere. That’s because the moon orbits the Earth, and the planets orbit the sun on nearly the same plane that Earth circles the sun.The change of the moon’s position from day to day is due to the moon’s orbital motion around Earth. The moon revolves around Earth in the same direction that Earth rotates on its axis: from west to east. On the average, the moon travels some 13 degrees per day in front of the constellations of the zodiac. For reference, the moon’s diameter spans 1/2 degree and your fist at an arm’s length approximates 10 degrees.

The moon always moves eastward (in the direction of sunrise) in front of the backdrop stars. Unlike the planets, the moon never goes in a retrograde (westward) direction in front of the stars of the zodiac.

Article published on EarthSky.org

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2018 February 8

Bow Tie Moon and Star Trails 

Image Credit & CopyrightHaitong Yu

Explanation: On January 31, a leisurely lunar eclipse was enjoyed from all over the night side of planet Earth, the first of three consecutive total eclipses of the Moon. This dramatic time-lapse image followed the celestial performance for over three hours in a combined series of exposures from Hebei Province in Northern China. Fixed to a tripod, the camera records the Full Moon sliding through a clear night sky. Too bright just before and after the eclipse, the Moon’s bow tie-shapedtrail grows narrow and red during the darker total eclipse phase that lasted an hour and 16 minutes. In the distant background are the colorful trails of stars in concentric arcs above and below the celestial equator.

 

A Little Humor for Your Day

Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary – Prefers to remain anonymous

Day 752— My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I’m forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

Day 761—-Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving in and out of their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, note must try at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair……must try doing this on their bed.

Day768—I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was given the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called (shampoo). What sick minds could invent such a liquid? My only consolation is the piece of the thumb still stuck between my teeth.

Day 771—There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary confinement throughout the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they called ” Beer”. More importantly I over heard that my confinement was due to my Power of Allergies. Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

Day 774—I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half wit. The bird on-the-other-hand has got to be an informant he speaks with them on a regular basis. I am certain he is reporting on my every move. Due to his placement in a metal room his safety is assured. But, I can watch and I can wait. It is only a matter of time.

Source

Wiccan Magick

 

Till tomorrow, my sweets……

Up, Up & Away! It’s Super Witch, lol!

 

For All Your Magickal Needs, Think Magickal Necessities……

 

Welcome Brothers, Sisters & All Who Visit This Day To The Witches Digest for Thursday, February 8th

The Witches Digest for Thursday, February 8th

(Part 1 – Astronomy)

 

Bright Blessings

Earth Mother
Giver of life
Strengthen me during my life-long strife.
Teach me Your ways of perfect love,
peace, and wisdom true.
Spawn from my purest heart
These words to You
May this prayer help me to better
myself in word and deed,
To a higher plane I shall succeed.
Beautiful Light of Goodness Fair
Lore of old we both do share
A Witch’s brew, I drink to You
My love for You, by day, by night
In thought and in sight
Will my soul learn
the meaning of this life again.

—Author Unknown
Originally published on Pagan Library

Your Daily Sun & Moon Data for Thursday, February 8th

The Sun
Sun Direction: ↑ 141.20° SE
Sun Altitude: 28.67°
Sun Distance: 91.703 million mi
Next Equinox: Mar 20, 2018 11:15 am (Vernal)
Sunrise Today: 6:50 am↑ 108° East
Sunset Today: 5:26 pm↑ 252° West
Length of Daylight: 10 hours, 36 minutes

 

The Moon
Moon Direction: ↑ 230.00° SW
Moon Altitude: 20.01°
Moon Distance: 249078 mi
Next New Moon: Feb 15, 20183:05 pm
Next Full Moon: Mar 1, 20186:51 pm
Next Moonset: Today11:53 am
Current Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
Illumination: 40.4%

 

The Lunar Calendar
Moon Direction: ↑ 230.50° SW
Moon Altitude: 19.61°
Moon Distance: 249082 mi
Next New Moon: Feb 15, 20183:05 pm
Next Full Moon: Mar 1, 20186:51 pm
Next Moonset: Today11:53 am

Source

timeanddate.com

Astrology of Today – Thursday, February 8

Mars-Uranus early today is progressive. A Last Quarter Moon occurs shortly before midday, and asks us to consider our spiritual needs.
The Moon is in Pisces all day (until Wednesday, June 10th, at 7:13 AM).
The Moon is void from 2:08 PM forward (until tomorrow at 7:13 AM).
The Moon is waning and in its Waning Gibbous phase until 11:41 AM/ Third Quarter phase from 11:41 AM forward.
The Third Quarter Moon occurs at 11:41 AM in Pisces.
Mercury is retrograde. (Mercury is retrograde from May 18 to June 11 in the sign of Gemini).

Your Daily Astronomy Overview for Thursday, February 8

The Moon continues its transit of Scorpio until 8:54 AM EST, after which it transits Sagittarius. The Sagittarius Moon encourages a direct, spontaneous approach to the world, at least on an emotional level, and it blends well with the Sun, Mercury, and Venus currently in Aquarius. The Moon forms a square to Venus before changing signs this morning, however, and we can find ourselves torn between a craving for intimacy and a need for some emotional detachment.

As the day progresses, we move towards a Moon-Mars alignment in Sagittarius, and we instinctively desire change and adventure. While excessive haste or rash behavior can leave us vulnerable to difficulties, healthy risk-taking might simply serve to enliven us. We can feel irritable if we don’t have something adventurous, challenging, or physical to do. Taking the initiative is appropriate now.

The Moon is void from 2:17 AM EST, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a square to Venus), until the Moon enters Sagittarius at 8:54 AM EST.

Moon in Sagittarius

The Moon is traveling through Sagittarius. The grass looks greener on the other side during this time. Jump ship. Learn a new language. Tell it like it is. Make people laugh.

The Moon is at her most optimistic and upbeat in Sagittarius. We are motivated by a need to seek the truth, and we are ready to pursue a new vision. We are not interested in details just now. Instead, we focus on the big picture. New experiences and adventures satisfy a deep emotional need. Spontaneity is the key. We may also be inclined toward overdoing and overstating. We don’t want to plan ahead, and prefer to “wing it”.

The Moon in Sagittarius generally favors the following activities: Adventurous activities that involve “winging it”, travel, higher education, starting publishing projects, advertising, sports, physical activity.

The sky this week for February 8 to 11

A glowing cone of zodiacal light, a brightly shining Jupiter, and the Alpha Centaurid meteor shower all make appearances in the sky this week.
By Richard Talcott

Thursday, February 8

The waning crescent Moon stands midway between Mars and Jupiter this morning. Although the trio are too far apart to appear in a single binocular field of view, the scene will look spectacular to the naked eye.

Mars officially crosses the border from Scorpius into Ophiuchus this morning. Although the planet spent just eight days within the confines of the Scorpion, it will remain in the Serpent-bearer for more than a month.

For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, today marks the peak of the annual Alpha Centaurid meteor shower. And with the Moon a waning crescent, it won’t shed much unwanted light into the morning sky. The shower’s radiant — the point from which the meteors appear to originate — lies among the background stars of Centaurus (although, oddly enough, closer to 1st-magnitude Beta [β] Centauri than to its brighter neighbor, Alpha [α] Centauri). The shower typically produces about 6 meteors per hour at its peak, although observers have reported between 20 and 30 per hour in a couple of years. The meteors tend to be bright and often leave persistent trains.

Friday, February 9

One of the sky’s largest asterisms — a recognizable pattern of stars separate from a constellation’s form — occupies center stage on February evenings. To trace the so-called Winter Hexagon, start with southern Orion’s luminary, Rigel. From there, the hexagon makes a clockwise loop. The second stop is brilliant Sirius in Canis Major. Next, pick up Procyon in the faint constellation Canis Minor, then the twins Castor and Pollux in Gemini, followed by Capella in Auriga, Aldebaran in Taurus, and finally back to Rigel.

Saturday, February 10

Mars passes 5° due north of Antares this morning. Although the Red Planet officially lies in the southwestern corner of the constellation Ophiuchus, it appears in a single binocular field with Scorpius’ brightest star. Because both Mars and Antares shine at magnitude 1.1, this is a perfect opportunity to compare the colors of the two objects, and come to understand why ancient observers named the star Antares, which literally means “rival of Mars.”

Sunday, February 11

The waning crescent Moon appears 2° above Saturn this morning. The two rise shortly after 4 a.m. local time and climb some 10° above the southeastern horizon by the time twilight starts. The planet shines at magnitude 0.6 and appears significantly brighter than any of the background stars in its host constellation, Sagittarius the Archer.

The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point in its orbit around Earth, at 9:16 a.m. EST. It then lies 252,090 miles (405,700 kilometers) from Earth’s center.

Source

The Astronomy Magazine

The Witches Current Moon Phase for February 8th

Waning Crescent
Illumination: 42%

The Moon today is in a Waning Crescent phase. In this phase the Moon’s illumination is growing smaller each day until the New Moon. During this phase the Moon is getting closer to the Sun as viewed from Earth and the night side of the Moon is facing the Earth with only a small edge of the Moon being illuminated. This phase is best viewed an hour or 2 before the sunrise and can be quite beautiful if you’re willing to get up early. It can also be a great time to see the features of the Moon’s surface. Along the edge where the illuminated portion meets the dark side, the craters and mountains cast long shadows making them easier to observe with a telescope or binoculars.

PHASE DETAILS FOR – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2018
Phase: Waning Crescent
Illumination: 42%
Moon Age: 22.90 days
Moon Angle: 0.50
Moon Distance: 399,795.89 km
Sun Angle: 0.54
Sun Distance: 147,588,720.41 km

Source

MoonGiant.com

PLANET TRACKER
YOUR DAILY GUIDE TO THE CHANGING SKY

Your sky for February 8, 2018
The Moon in Sagittarius: Optimistic, Philosophical, Adventurous
February 8 – February 10, 2018

By Tarot.com Staff

Before we jump straight into the Moon in Sagittarius, let’s first learn about the Moon itself. In Astrology, the Moon is considered a planet. It moves so quickly through the sky that it actually passes through each of the zodiac signs every month! While most people are familiar with their Sun sign, many people are unaware of what their Moon sign is. Why is knowing this aspect of this so important? The Moon is our astrological home, and it relates to our moods and our gut feelings. If you don’t know what your lunar sign is, find out by filling out a FREE Cosmic Profile. You might find out that you have a Sagittarius Moon sign!

When the Moon is in Sagittarius
No matter what your Moon sign is, we are all honorary Sagittarians when the Moon moves through that sign. The energy of Sagittarius is very expansive, free, and visionary. If you’re normally very pragmatic or cynical, you might find that you’re a little more optimistic than usual. Your mind will start considering all the possibilities of a situation rather than just focusing on the potential roadblocks. Your thoughts could end up in uncharted territory!

A Sagittarius Moon will renew your sense of adventure, and you could have the desire to pick something (no matter how big or small) and just go for it. Sagittarius loves the idea of traveling and expanding their horizon. This can be something physical like traveling to a faraway place, or taking their mind on a trip with an education pursuit. Don’t be surprised if you have the urge to register for that class you’ve been thinking about taking, or if you decide to book a last-minute vacation during this transit.

New Moon in Sagittarius
New Moons are a time of new beginnings and new emotional cycles. The Sagittarius New Moon asks us to plant the seeds of optimism. This is when we allow ourselves to leave the painful parts of our pasts behind so we can visualize a bigger and brighter future. This idealistic outlook doesn’t match the realities of everyone’s life. Many people are suffering in economic, emotional, physical, and spiritual ways. It’s not difficult to find areas of frustration and fear inside us and in the environment around us. The Sagittarius New Moon offers you hope, and all the wonderful things that hope brings. Instead of seeing a situation as it is, you will be able to imagine what your situation could be.

Full Moon in Sagittarius
Unlike the New Moon, which is about starting something new, the Full Moon is about reflecting on what we planted six months ago, and how it’s coming to fruition. It urges us to consider what’s next. This is an interesting time because the Moon in far-seeing Sagittarius opposes the Sun in nearsighted Gemini. Gemini is concerned with things that are nearby while Sagittarius wants us to contemplate what’s on the distant horizon. We might be overwhelmed with ideas and information, but the Sagittarius Full Moon helps us focus our attention on long-term goals and higher principles rather than getting lost in a flood of small details.

If you were born with the Moon in Sagittarius
Lunar Sagittarians are the free spirits of the zodiac, and are most fulfilled when they have the freedom to live life on their own terms. They feel their best when they can maintain their independence and come and go as they please. People with this bold Moon sign are always game to try something new, and their nomadic nature often has them daydreaming about their next adventure! This sign doesn’t ask, “Why?” It asks, “Why not?”

Someone with a Sagittarius Moon has a passion for learning. This Moon sign is all about expansion, and that includes broadening their minds. Sagittarius chases after wisdom, and they do this by seeking out the truth about the people and world around them. This Moon sign likes to dabble in philosophy, psychology, religion, or whatever subject might help them in their pursuit of knowledge.

Optimism is at the heart of people born with a Sagittarius Moon. Their happy-go-lucky demeanor and positive outlook on life give them an adaptability that makes it easy to roll with all of life’s punches. Some mistake their idealism for having an unrealistic outlook on life, but it’s really that Lunar Sagittarians believe in their heart that everything will work out for the best in the end.

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

Up Next…..

Your Daily Horoscopes, Tarot Cards, Runes and Much More

And after that stay tuned to this Witchy Channel because Eleanor is bringing us lots of good Witchcraft information.

We are changing things up for a bit. We decided that we had gotten stuck into a daily rut. So we are getting out of that rut for a bit. Everyday after I get through doing the Astronomy section and the Horoscopes section, Eleanor will take over and provide you with some fresh new Witchcraft, Wiccan, Voodoo, Hoodoo and who knows what else kind of material. It’s been a while since we actually added new material to the site and it is long over due.

So now you are up-to-date, let’s get this show rolling!

Love ya,

Lady A