Every four years, an extra day is added to the calendar in order to synchronize it with the solar year.
It takes the earth 365.242 days to orbit the Sun. For this reason, the full day is only added once every four years.
The extra day, called leap day or intercalary day, is added at the end of February, giving it 29 days instead of 28.
Leap year occurs in every year that is divisible by four and only in century years that are evenly divided by 400. For example, 800, 1200, 2000 were leap years but 1700 and 1900 were not because they are not divisible by 400, even though they are divisible by four.
The practice of adding the extra day began with the creation of the Julian calendar and a decree by Julius Caesar in the year 46 B.C. The Julian calendar creates an extra day every four years, and does not follow the century-divisible-by-400 rule so there is still an 11-minute, 14-second discrepancy each year.
The 11-minute discrepancy in the Julian calendar had added up to ten days by the year 1582 A.D. so Pope Gregory XIII created the Gregorian calendar and dropped ten days from the month of October. He also established February 29 as the official date to add during a leap year, coined the term leap year, and created the rules for adding the leap year.
Currently the solar year is approximately 26 seconds shorter than the Gregorian year.
In the U.S., leap year coincides with presidential election years.
Work, health, and relationships are in big focus this month, dear Aries, and motivation levels are on the increase. From the 9th, strong energy for consulting, negotiating, and partnering is with you, particularly in connection with your work or health goals. You could be teaming up with someone to pursue health and fitness programs, or to get a particular project done, and while you’re typically very independent, this is a great time to let someone in. When it comes to work and career, this is a powerful time for renovations, redesign, and dramatic improvements. Your ambition increases pleasantly now, and you are especially resourceful in your methods. There could be some recognition for efforts that previously were taken for granted. You can be thoroughly enjoying your work or daily routines, and this shows in the finished product. When it comes to the pursuit of better health and well-being, what you may have been lacking recently is patience, but this month puts this shortsightedness behind you. Newfound or increased joy in your work can also bolster health. While you can be quite busy now, you are increasingly turning to study in order to perfect your skills or to gain knowledge. Lifestyle changes implemented now are likely to last. For some of you, you may be discovering your “calling” now and in the coming months. This is an important month for being alert and active. You are especially inventive, creative, and enterprising, particularly with your work, methods, and pet projects. If a fresh start is needed in a partnership, the New Moon on the 12th can provide it. The Full Moon on the 27th can be a call to handle out of control money matters.
Wonderful influences for both work and play are with you this month, dear Taurus. With your ruler, Venus, and Mercury in mutual reception and both direct from the 9th forward, you are in excellent shape mentally. Work benefits the most from this, but relationships improve considerably as well with open lines of communication and attentiveness. Work relationships can improve now, and work projects or health programs get off the ground. There can be surprising or exciting turns of events surrounding romance, children, entertainment, and creative projects. Small risks or innovations can be rewarding. You can be seeking, and likely finding, more meaning in your projects, hobbies, and friendships. Self-improvement efforts are strong. As you pour more of your energy and heart into romantic relationships and creative pursuits, your relationships and work take on new life. Powerful and meaningful connections might be made. Travel and romance may be connected now and in the coming months. The Full Moon on the 27th is in your sign, bringing an emotional epiphany. All month, and especially from the 9th forward, personal magnetism is through the roof. You are certainly attracting positive attention as your more playful impulses surface. This is only set to increase as the month advances, and continues into next month. Enthusiasm for hobbies, entertainment, and other forms of playful expression increases, and opportunities emerge to more thoroughly enjoy yourself. This is also a good month for learning and travel. You’re feeling increasingly freer of the need to sort out family and home matters, and confidence improves.
The month ahead brings home and family matters into strong focus, dear Gemini, as well as romantic, creative, and playful pursuits. Your ruler, Mercury, turns direct on the 9th and around the same time is in mutual reception with attracting Venus. This brings more charm, clarity, and warmth to your presentation. You are being received especially well. You have energetic Mars and expansive Jupiter in your sector of soul/home all month, and Venus entering here on the 8th. This brings many opportunities to improve relationships with family and with yourself! It’s also good for creative improvements to the physical home, not only emotional ones. Ideas for having fun and making your accommodations more livable are abundant. You’ll need to be especially active on the domestic front in order to truly benefit from these energies – Mars here becomes temperamental and disruptive if it doesn’t have something constructive to do! Generally speaking, this month and extending until June is a period very important for laying down foundations and setting up a base of operations on career or life-path levels, particularly for those of you with Gemini Ascendants. Take every opportunity to get in touch with your heart’s desire. Discoveries can be profound. Some of you could come into financial support or backing for establishing yourself in a career or home. The New Moon on the 12th can bring a nice charge of motivation for creative and entertaining pursuits or a new start in a romance. The second half of the month is certainly better for mental clarity. You now have the motivation to launch new projects. The Full Moon on the 27th brings a sudden need to tend to spiritual and restful needs. Treat yourself to some down time now.
The month ahead is powerful for motivation and energy levels, dear Cancer, particularly on mental levels, and is also strong for strengthening your resolve and self-confidence. When it comes to learning, connecting, and communicating, your taste for the new and untried is powerful, and your initiative is through the roof, particularly after the 9th and building as the month advances. A partner is in your corner, and there can be a motivating, supportive meeting of minds. You might be the go-to person for information and know-how. Some of you could meet someone special through the phone, online, at school, or possibly in your own neighborhood with Pluto in your relationship sector in favorable aspect to Jupiter, Mars, and Venus in your communications sector. There could be new or improved connections and friendships. New information coming in or a new perspective from someone close to you could transform your own perspective or motivate you to pursue a dream project. Studies and mental interests are rewarding. How you view your relationships and commitments in general can be changing, and more clarity is likely now. Grab any opportunities that emerge to improve your communication skills and mindset. Some of you could be doing a lot of work at home or even on the home. A better atmosphere for learning or working at home can happen now. There can be lovely exposure to different ideas, opportunities, and possibilities. You’ll need to be fairly active and enterprising in your communications in order to benefit the most from the positive energies with you this month and into November; otherwise, you could feel rather restless and impatient, which can lead to mistakes. For some of you, transportation opportunities can open up, making it easier to get around. The Full Moon on the 27th brings a cosmic push to reach out to friends and groups. Networking efforts can be rewarding. The last week of the month stimulates a desire to play, enjoy, share your feelings and affections, and create.
The month ahead is strong for motivation, initiative, communications, and business, dear Leo, and can be very prosperous. Focus on building, connecting, and producing. There is a lovely exchange going on between your sectors of finance and resources and of communications from the 8th forward, and with Mercury turning direct in your communications sector on the 9th, strong energy for moving projects forward, gaining momentum as the month advances. It’s a good time for both goal-setting and pursuing. You are bolder than usual when it comes to business and earnings, and especially motivated to produce and prove your worth. There could be job offers or you could be making your own job opportunities now, and possibly significant gifts or bonuses. Financial breakthroughs are possible. Your attitude towards your practical affairs and business is proactive, confident, fresh, and positive. Opportunities to attract improved conditions in work, services you render, financial picture, and health are emerging, and this trend is only set to continue for many months ahead. Successful new ventures and launches are more possible now. There is also excellent energy for healing the body and improving health, particularly through grounding activities. There could be new purchases of communications or transportation equipment that improves your daily life. You can also enjoy learning new things this month, and studies are favored. The New Moon on the 12th is good for starting fresh and taking on new interests or studies, and also for promotion, marketing, and sales. The Full Moon on the 27th calls your attention to your career, public standing, reputation, and responsibilities. Recognition for your efforts can arise now.
Your energy levels run high this month, dear Virgo, and your pioneering instincts are strong. Venus returns to your sign (it entered Virgo briefly in July before turning retrograde) just when Mercury turns direct on the 8-9. This is good news for personal appeal and attracting what you want into your life. Still, with Mars in Virgo all month, you are making things happen! This is a fabulous period for charm and attractiveness, and this trend continues into November as well. This is a time for finding your creative voice, furthering a creative project or beginning a new venture, and possibly elevating a romantic relationship, although commitment may not be a goal at the moment. You can be feeling especially empowered, putting negativity behind you, and pursuing your goals. The ways you greet the world and carry yourself are transforming in positive ways. Children may be thriving as previous obstacles are overcome. This is a strong time for picking up or renewing a satisfying hobby. Money matters and business projects are likely to move forward after the 9th, with new beginnings after the 12th possible. This is one of the better times of the year for financial prosperity. You can feel as if you’re winding up as energetic Mars and expansive Jupiter move towards alignment in your sign, exact on the 17th. Those who matter most tend to believe in you fully right now. You have the drive to make your vision a reality, and your ideas are no less than huge. Timing is excellent and your willingness to learn from others gains you even more respect. As October progresses, you can feel more and more decisive and sure of yourself. The Full Moon on the 27th can be a time for making an announcement, publishing, or promotion.
While you’re certain to be getting attention this month, with the Sun in your sign until the 23rd and Mercury in your sign all of October, dear Libra, there is some sense of holding back, and this makes it a more relaxed time than it typically is at this time of year. Mercury is still retrograde until the 9th, and you’re looking back rather than forward, after which you have the chance to act on recent revelations and changes of mind. At the same time, Venus enters your soul sector where Mars is already traveling, and will continue to stay throughout the month. This points to a possible need for a sabbatical of sorts when it comes to major decisions in general, as well as relationships. While you may not be blossoming in an obvious sense quite yet, this is an excellent month for preparing yourself for busier times to come. Personal appeal is strong now, and creative pursuits can thrive, particularly if you’re doing something behind the scenes or if you’re on the last stretch of a special project. Your perceptions heighten this month. You’re learning important things about your inner world, deepest needs, and family or loved ones. Money matters are set to improve considerably. If a relationship is distracting you from your responsibilities and schedules, try to nip that in the bud, as this is an important time for developing your style of communication and for honing your skills. The 10-13 is powerful for new beginnings with a New Moon in your sign putting personal power in your hands, and occurring around the time of a healing Jupiter-Pluto connection. Even so, you may still be better off saving the really big things for later, when Venus and Mars cross the horizon in your solar chart by mid-November. There is still much going on under the hood in October, and for the most part, the biggest changes are going on inside.
While much of October your privacy sector is emphasized and you require more time to yourself, dear Scorpio, there are important influences in your social sector that can’t be ignored. From the 8th, you have creative, attracting Venus and assertive, energetic Mars moving in this part of your chart. Jupiter’s already here and receives a beautiful aspect from your ruler, Pluto, in your communications sector. It’s a powerful time for your social life, networking, and communicating. Some of you could be building a following for your ideas or your work. This month and the next, be sure to make connections and share your ideas. Your ambition is stimulated, and you are enjoying experimenting and entertaining new ideas. You may be feeling especially confident about what you have to offer others and the community, and in your own goals and dreams. You may be taking the lead in a group or people may be looking to you for guidance. New people coming into your life could inspire you to make important changes and improvements. Sudden or unexpected changes, disruptions, and meetings can actually lead to positive new directions. Love requires more emotional space, acceptance, and tolerance. Some of you could be finding love through group associations, networking, and friends. The Sun moves into your sign on the 23rd, bringing more attention to your personality and personal concerns. A Full Moon on the 27th brings relationship needs to the forefront and buried feelings to the surface. October brings far greater clarity to your personal plans, friendships, and love relationships.
While there is continuing focus on your social life this month, dear Sagittarius, career, responsibilities, and life plan goals are in strong focus, although they do have a social element to them. Very creative dynamic energy is with you, particularly after the 9th, for manifesting your goals or for furthering your career goals. Money matters are likely improving the more energy you put in the work you do, as you’re enjoying it more than usual. This trend will be with you for many months going forward, but right now, motivation is powerful. Your ruler, Jupiter, is in excellent shape this month, connecting beautifully with Venus, goddess of love, energetic and courageous Mars, powerful and resourceful Pluto, and inventive Uranus. This is a time for really shining and getting noticed for your performance. You may have the chance to use your most natural talents and skills in practical ways. There is courage for trying new things and even for starting something from scratch through redesign or renovation. Seek out connections with people who can further your career or personal interests. Through others’ faith in you, or wisdom, you are encouraged to reach your potential. Projects or even finances might be turned around. The pace may be hectic, but you’re generally enjoying it. If there have been problems with friends, you have the chance to make serious improvements, first with Mercury’s direct motion from the 9th, and then with the power of the New Moon on the 12th, which can help to wipe the slate clean with someone you care about, if necessary. Love relationships can certainly improve this month, particularly after the 9th.
Life is really picking up pace for you this month, dear Capricorn, in a most enjoyable way. You seem to be balancing work and play well right now, with opportunities emerging on both personal and professional levels. There is good energy for applying your knowledge and skillset in practical ways and to good feedback, particularly from the 9th forward. For some of you, your ideas are reaching a larger audience and gaining recognition, or publishing, learning, and teaching are in strong focus. Combining business and travel can be rewarding for some. You might be enjoying an exciting new project or a revival of one already in progress. Personal magnetism is strong and is only set to increase. You’ll find that moving outside of your normal bounds and routines improves your opportunities. There can be great hunger for new experiences and knowledge that feed your mind and spirit. Many of you could be feeling that you bounce back much more easily from minor stresses and problems. Teaching or guiding can be in strong or stronger focus in the work you do. Opportunities for travel, friendship, learning, and love can emerge. Jupiter connects with Pluto in your sign, and this can stimulate a real sense of meaning and purpose. There may be some issues with instability on the home front to deal with three weeks in, but you’re in a good position to manage problem areas. Mercury’s forward motion on the 9th and the New Moon on the 12th both can help to boost career efforts and reputation. There can be a sense that you can start anew. The Full Moon on the 27th is strong for love relationships, romance, and creative pursuits. The lines of communication open.
This month brings improvement to learning pursuits, transportation, and general spirit or attitude towards life, dear Aquarius. For people in love relationships or looking for love, this month and the next are strong for getting closer. Connections can deepen. While you’re seeking out a little more adventure from your life this month, your private world holds a lot of appeal. In fact, there can be times when you’re utterly absorbed in quiet activities, research, and projects. The desire for more intimacy in a relationship, or in your relationships in general, is increasing, and opportunities are likely to present themselves. Support from others tends to be more and more available to you, if you are seeking it. Self-improvement efforts can be very successful this month, and in many respects, in the coming year. Some of you could enjoy support or backing for travel or educational plans. You are coming into a very good career period, and while the rewards may be more explicit later, you’re likely to feel more competent, motivated, and a little freer when it comes to doing things your way. The last half of the month tends to play more heavily in your favor, and this can be in the areas of finances, love, and friendship. Special dates for advances in financial and intimate arenas include the 15, 17,22-23, and 25. Your ruler, Uranus, connects beautifully with Jupiter by a parallel aspect, boosting motivation levels and a sense of joy and purpose. This perfects in the last week of October, when a Full Moon occurs in your home and family sector. You can feel that loved ones really have your back, and confidence increases as a result.
There is a strong focus on the agendas of others in your life this month, dear Pisces, on your close relationships, and on your relationship with yourself and self-understanding. From the 8-9, there is a nice exchange going on between your partnership and intimacy houses, not to mention the direct motion of Mercury, your partnership ruler. This can improve relationships many times over, and especially partnerships or other one-on-one connections, such as in counseling set-ups. Negotiations are well-favored. You could be meeting with especially exciting or enticing people now, and for those in a partnership, a relationship is animated, perhaps a little demanding at times, but overall contributing to a nice growth and learning process. There might also be some good publicity for you in October. Mutually beneficial connections can be made, and networking can be rewarding. Some of you could meet a partner through your work or group associations. Relationships in general can advance to a new level. Be open to new ideas and stimulation, but experiment wisely and creatively. Be sure to get a word in edgewise, even if it’s an important time to consider the input of others. A partner or special friend can inspire or motivate you to pursue a dream or to work up to your potential. The New Moon on the 12th along with Mercury’s direct motion can bring forward motion to a financial matter for some, and the Full Moon on the 27th is strong for learning and communications projects.
The Equirria was an ancient Roman festival of horse-racing held in honor of the God Mars. It was said to have been established by Romulus and held in the Campus Martius on Caelian Hill. There was a similar festival held on March 14 called the Mamuralia.
Mars was originally a God of agriculture and guardian of fields and boundaries, known as Mamers, Maris, or Marmar. He became identified with the Greek God Ares and so assumed the major role of war God. He was regarded as the son of Juno, and the month of March was named after him. He had a succession of festivals in February, March, and October.
Magickal Activity for Equirria
The First Pentacle of Mars
The First Pentacle of Mars is used to invoke the powers of Mars for gaining courage, enthusiasm, ambition, and all physical accomplishments.
You will need:
A square of red card stock
1 Red red votive candle in a glass holder
A small red cloth bag
Inscribe the First Pentacle of Mars on the red square of card stock. Light the red votive candle, and place it on top of the pentacle as you chant:
“Almighty warrior and God of power,
Fill me with courage from this hour.”
Allow the candle to burn completely out. Place the pentacle in the red bag and carry for courage
I hate to post and run but…….I have got to take a friend to the dentist. After or before, probably before, I am going to vote. I don’t know what is on your ballot today. But one thing I promised you and I am worse than an elephant about forgetting. My promise to you was when Election time rolled around, I was going to remind you of what a lovely mess our government was back in October. Remember? I know you know what I am implying. Vote with your head. Stop to think about what a mess things were. Remember people not knowing where their next meal was coming from or how to keep a roof over their kids head. Whatever you do get out and vote and please vote with your head.
Now I have one thing to ask you. I am currently brain dead (I know it’s a first for me, lol!). But anyway, what kind of items would like to see raffled off? I know the holidays are getting ready to hit us. I thought it would be nice to put up something that you might to want to give as a gift. If you tell me that is what you would like to do, I will cut the December raffle short. That way whatever the item is will get to you in time for Yule or Christmas.
Anyway, I have got to run for now. Have a beautiful Tuesday!
While everyone is waiting for us to get our act together, let me announce the first winner of October’s Raffle………
Bobbie will have the first pick of the three items up for raffle. Then we will announce the second winner. That person will have his/her pick of the two remaining items. So you could still be a winner! Keep those fingers crossed!
There appear to be many in October days addressing the epidemic of bullying. Ancient Indian texts tell that those being bullied should carry cinnamon (also called the ‘warm brown spice of friendship’) on their person. According to ages-old wisdom, carrying cinnamon will not only curtail episodes of intimidation but is believed to also provide invisible protection and courage.
We are going to update the site this afternoon and tonight. But I want you to know that there will be a disclaimer on this site for the month of October. I am comfortable in doing this because I know our regular followers are all brothers and sisters of the Craft. The reason I am doing this is because I was scrolling through the movies on TV for October. There are tons of Witchcraft and Occult movies on for this month (doesn’t it figure?).
My husband picked out one last night for us to watch. I think I would have rather watched reruns of Hee-Haw. Seriously. It was a movie about teenagers doing a Séance using a Ouija board. The whole thing was pathetic. Then it hit me, Halloween is this month, Samhain for us. But people will watch these movies and run to this site demanding to do Witchcraft NOW! It happens every year, like clock work. The disclaimer isn’t going to be offensive. It will simply explain that magick doesn’t happen with the snap of the fingers. It is a serious Religion and should be regarded as such. It involves study and unless you are not serious about becoming a student of the Craft, please do not demand Magick NOW! Or something like that.
Anyway, you will know what is going on and won’t be surprised when you see it.
Mabon is the time of the second harvest, and of thanksgiving.
At the time of the autumn equinox, there are equal hours of light and dark. It is a time of balance, and while summer is ending, the winter is approaching. This is a season in which farmers are harvesting their fall crops, gardens are beginning to die, and the earth gets a bit cooler each day. Let’s look at some of the ways that this second harvest holiday has been honored around the world for centuries.
In China, the moon’s birthday falls around the time of the autumn equinox. Special holiday birthday cakes are baked with flour from harvested rice, and families gather together to honor the moon. It is believed that flowers will fall from the sky on the night of the moon’s birthday, and those who saw them fall would be blessed with great abundance.
Many English counties still observe Michaelmas, which is the feast of St. Michael, on September 29. Customs included the preparation of a meal of goose which had been fed on the stubble of the fields following the harvest (called a stubble-goose). There was also a tradition of preparing special larger-than-usual loaves of bread, and St. Michael’s bannocks, which was a special kind of oatcake.
Long before the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, the Native peoples of North America celebrated the harvest with thanksgiving festivals in the autumn. This typically included lots of meat and grains to eat. Games and activities were held, and it was also useful as a time of matchmaking between neighboring villages.
In some Germanic countries, people worried about the fate of their grain harvest. If there was a great deal of wind during the harvesting season, it could be because Odin wanted a share of the crop. To keep him happy, a few spare sacks of flour were emptied into the wind.
The Yoruba people of Nigeria had a celebration in October to celebrate the yam harvest. Dances were held to honor the ancestors, and to bid farewell to those who might have died in the past year. Yams were offered to dancers in hopes that a fertile crop would appear next year. Interestingly, studies have shown that women who consume a lot of yams (real African yams, not sweet potatoes) are statistically more likely to conceive twins, so there is certainly a link between yams and fertility symbolism!
The Iroquois people celebrated a Corn Dance each fall. This was a way to give thanks for the ripening of the grain — songs, dances and drumming were part of the celebration. Naturally, food played an important part as well, including corn bread and soup.
For the ancient Druids, the fall equinox was Alban Elfed. Many contemporary Druids celebrate this as at time of balance and thanksgiving.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.”
– Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne
JANUARY – THE WOLF MOON
January is the first month of the Gregorian calendar. Its name comes from the two-faced Roman God Janus, ruler of gates and doorways. Its astrological sign Capricorn, the goat (December 21 – January 20), is a cardinal Earth sign ruled by Saturn. Before Julius Caesar hired the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria in 46 BCE to reform the calendar, the year began with the Spring Equinox. But the traditional calendar had gotten out of sync with the seasons. The new Julian calendar remained in effect until it too, fell out of sync and was reformed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. The Gregorian calendar is today’s common calendar though some religions still use variations of the Julian calendar.
January, as mentioned earlier, is named for Janus (Ianus), the two-faced Roman God of the doorway, which is the transition point between the safe indoors and the outside world, where anything might happen. Before Janus came to the city, he was Dianus, an Italian Oak God whose consort was the woodland Goddess Diana. The Romans weren’t alone in believing that this opening needed to be protected. The mezuzah, which holds verses from Deuteronomy, is affixed to doors of Jewish houses. Medieval cathedrals feature elaborate facades around their doorways and nearly every Pagan is taught to cut a “doorway” into the energy of the circle.
January brings along with it, a time of new beginnings. New Year’s Day brings with it the tradition of making resolutions for the year. Popular customs include opening the front and back door of the home, a symbolic way of letting the new year in and the old year out. Epiphany or Twelfth Night, falls on January 6 and is the final night of the Christmas season. This night is a time to gather family and friends near a crackling fire, enjoying good and sweets and sharing hopes and wishes for the coming year.
January’s Full Moon was known as the Wolf Moon, a time when the hungry pack would search for food. In many regions, snow blankets the ground icicles hang from the eaves, and the night sky is spangled with starlight. Evergreen trees, symbols of eternal life, stand out now in the winter woodland. Blue jays and cardinals brighten the winter landscape.
Traditionally during this month Pagans perform purification magick using seasonal scents such as pine and ginger. The ritual burning of written charms so that their magick may be released is also popular in January.
—Excerpt from Llewellyn’s 2018 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac
Article Entitled “January” by Barbara Ardinger, PhD
The Cold Moon – The Wolf Moon
In January, the nights are long and dark, and many of us are trying to stay warm under a blanket of snow as the Cold Moon approaches (in some cultures, the Cold Moon is the name given to December’s moon, instead). Some of the native tribes of North America called this time the Wolf Moon, because this was when the wolves were howling, hungry, outside lodges where people stayed warm within. Other groups referred to it as the Snow Moon, for obvious reasons.
This time of year, we’re all feeling a bit slow and “off” as our bodies adjust to chillier temperatures. It’s easy to just lie on the couch watching Netflix and eating comfort food when it’s cold and gloomy outside, and making any kind of magical effort can seem like a real challenge right now.
Colors: Black and white, silver
Trees: Birch, Hazel
Gods: Inanna, Freyja
Herbs: Thistle, nuts and seeds, marjoram
Cold Moon Magic
This is a good time to work on magic related to protection, both physical and spiritual. Use this time to develop your inner self, and advance spiritually, becoming closer to the higher aspects of your deities. Take the time in your busy schedule to meditate and think about what it is you really want out of life, and whether you’re showing people your true self.
January is also a great time to work on full moon magic – after all, the nights are long and dark, and in some areas the moon itself is the only source of light. Put aside your lethargy, and focus some energy on developing your intuition and wisdom.
Finally, for many people, winter is a season of simplification. Set aside everything you don’t need, and try a minimalist approach instead. On a mundane level, try doing a thorough cleaning of your physical space – get rid of the clutter. On a spiritual and emotional level, try to do the same thing – teach your mind to let go of the things that are creating excess baggage for your spirit and soul.
There lingers an old superstition about bayberry candles, that to burn one in the home on Christmas Eve or on the first day of the year brings good fortune to the home. According to one tradition, each member of a family makes a wish while lighting the candle–if the candle burns all the way down, it comes true. In another lovely traditions, a woman sends a candle to her distant sweetheart with instructions for what day and time to burn the candle. They believe the fragrances somehow drifts together as a symbol of their thoughts of one another.
It seems, however, that the pre-electric homes that produced such a candle already enjoyed good fortune–it takes nearly a pound of bayberries to produce enough wax to create a single candle. Even so, these sumptuous green candles, along with memories of their traditions, linger on, giving off a wonderful smell as they burn. The folklore of the bayberry candles–bringing luck to the home and money to the pocket, as the print on the popular seven-day candle often reads–aligns well with a spell popular with witches of the bi-continental American traditional variety: the Road Opener.
A road opening spell opens up opportunities for the person casting the spell. If the person seeks a new job, the spell increases the possibilities of finding one. If the person wants to make a life change such as returning to school, traveling, or starting a new creative endeavor, the Road Opener invites in that possibility. If performed with the right influences, it can even expand a person’s choices when dating. Often these spells work best as a follow-up to a cleansing spell known as an uncrossing, but if circumstances seem limited rather than negative, the Road Opener itself works just fine.
Bayberry Candle Road Opener Spell
The best days to perform this spell are January 1, any New Moon, any Full Moon, and anytime the Moon is in Aries.
You will need:
One glass-encased, seven-day bayberry candle
Four pinches of dirt, gathered from each point of a four-way-stop intersection
Symbols representing desired opportunities such as keys for a new home, a sample pay stub for a new job, etc.
Place the candle on a heatproof plate in a fire-safe zone. Write on the candle glass with the marker what roads you want opened–be clear about your goals without focusing on how those goals might come about.
Light the candle, saying,
Opportunity, come this way!
Set down one pinch of dirt, saying,
Eastern roads are open to me.
Set down the next saying,
Southern roads are open to me.
Set down the next, saying, Western roads are open to me.
Set down the next, saying,
Northern roads are open to me.
You can further adjust the Road Opener to the specific area of life you need opened up by adding symbols and chants related to that purpose.
Allow the candle to burn all the way down.
Diana Rajchel —Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar 2018
Witchy Ways to Celebrate January
Decorate your home and altar with violet and white, and burn pine and musk. Use pine needles as your focus for new beginnings.
Cook with love and try new things to add a spark to the new year.
Honor your place in the world and the joy in your heart by creating a daily practice.
Try a new way of spelling by creating a sigil.
Let go of what’s not working for you; start with a clean slate and move on.
Create a magical calendar for the year and give yourself a focus for each month.
Be understanding of others’ beliefs and promote your own in a sensitive, open way.
Fall in love with the world around you again as you get ready for the first stirrings of spring. The earth is at its barest—warts and all—so celebrate any beauty you find.
Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
We are Witches We walk the path of the Old Gods From this moment forth We will not walk alone Together, we will worship Together, we will practice our Craft Together, we will learn and grow We vow to work, from this day forward In perfect love and perfect trust According to the free will of all And for the good of all Creating only beauty Singing in harmony Our song upon the Earth Love is the law and love is the bond In the name of the Goddess and the God So do we vow, and so mote it be.
––Circle, Coven, & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice
If you would like to exchange banners, you can either drop us off a link in the comment section or email us at:
Feng Shui says that the elemental energy associated with the month of October comes from the energies accorded the element of Earth. This same energy or element is what we might call on to create a sense of stability, security and a strong sense of belonging. The earth grounds and roots you. It can balance and center you and keep you connected to the forces that feed you on so many different levels. Earth energies can be located directly in the center of your own space. Any time during this or any other month, whenever you feel a need to slow down and to feel more stability and support, position a yellow flowering plant in the middle of the main floor and immediately feel your feet on firmer terra firma. You also can use fresh yellow flowers to activate the energy of this cure, but a plant that you can nurture and love will breathe those same energies right back to you. Find your center, plant yourself there and get some super supportive stability growing just for you. After all, who deserves stability and support more than you?