Numerology: Why 2016 Was Terrible and Why 2017 Might Be Better

Vintage Numerology 9

“Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number—
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few.”

-Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Mask of Anarchy”

Long before astrology, even before witchcraft, numerology was my first foray into the mystical. It has always made perfect sense to me, the cyclical nature of life harmonizing with my belief in reincarnation. Numerology also helps to explain why 2016 was so universally terrible to so many people: it was a Year 9.

The number 9 is one of endings, the completion of the circle, a time for reaping what you sowed in the Year 1. 2008 was the year that started the cycle that ends with 2016 … so we got ours. A Year 9 can be a well-deserved culmination of hard work, and it can also be a white-knuckled roller coaster ride through chaos.

This may sound like hooey at first blush, but if you think about it, this is the natural order of things. Crops are planted from seeds, they need tending to while they slowly grow, they are harvested so that we can be fed, and then you start over again from seed. The plant cannot be harvested and still keep growing forever. Our life also goes in cycles, it’s not all a rocketship ride going straight up; it’s a circle, looping again and again. And this circle is closing.

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New Moon December 29th 2016 in Capricorn

Stellarscapes by Oriol Angrill Jorda

December 2016’s New Moon in Capricorn occurs at 1:53 AM EST on Thursday the 29th, and you can do your New Moon ritual in Capricorn on either the night of the 28th or the 29th. However, if you want until the 30th the Moon will be void-of-course until 8:29 PM when it enters Aquarius.

The two week manifestation point for this New Moon is January 12th Full Moon in Cancer. The six month manifestation point is on July 9th with the Full Moon in Capricorn.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to New Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

New Moon in Capricorn

This is the last New Moon of 2016, so it’s a great opportunity to write your New Year’s Resolution list. You can also wait until January’s New Moon (which is the Lunar New Year) or the ‘traditional’ date of December 31st. If I’m planning on champagne and watching the ball drop, I’m not going to be fixated on goals, so I usually put them on separate dates. Since New Moon’s also have an aspect of ‘letting go’ to them, this would also be a good time to list what you really want to leave in 2016. Looking back on my older Esbats from 2016 I must say, it’s taken time, but it has been working. I also have my 2016 goal list to review. That will be fun – and terrifying! – I have no idea what’s on it.

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January 2017 Dates to Remember

Grimoire Dashboard January 2017

Important Dates: January 2017

8th: Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn Ends
12th: Full Moon in Cancer
20th: Celtic Tree Month of Birch Ends
21st: Celtic Tree Month of Rowan Begins
28th: New Moon in Aquarius
28th: Lunar New Year – Year of the Rooster/Chicken (New Year’s Resolution time if you celebrate the Lunar New Year instead of the Solar one.)

A Witch’s Guide to Starting Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows

This little adventure started when I tried to find planner supplies for my Grimoire. There’s almost nothing out there that’s specifically designed for witches, and what is out there is too fussy for my taste. I don’t know about you all, but for me, compiling a good Book of Shadows is very important to the practice of my Craft. Additionally, it’s so personal, it has to be perfect. The New Year (Lunar, Solar, or the Vernal Equinox) is such a wonderful opportunity for things like this, I think, but you can start your Book of Shadows any time. I don’t know about you, but I love a project. As far as witchcraft is concerned, this is the project of all projects.

For me, figuring out the format for my Book of Shadows was a near-identity crisis. Counting some missteps and corrections it took a year and a half for me to figure out what I really wanted. Here’s some advice from my try/fail/do it the hard way experience that I hope you’ll find helpful.

Part two of this series is now available: A Witch’s Guide to Organizing Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows.

Grimoire or Book of Shadows?

I tend to use the two terms almost interchangeably, but they do have different meanings. In short, a Grimoire is impersonal and a Book of Shadows is personal. A Grimoire wouldn’t feature your personal dreams, tarot readings, crystal grids, etc., but a Book of Shadows would. Grimoires would be comparable to Commonplace Books which are/were collections of interesting facts, puzzles, and quotations that people used to maintain. It wasn’t a personal diary, but it was personal in an impersonal way. A Grimoire would be similar; it’s not a magickal diary, but it does contain magickal information. In short: You can put Grimoire information in a Book of Shadows, but you cannot put Book of Shadows (personal) information in a Grimoire and still have it considered a Grimoire. Some people suggest keeping two books (Flying the Hedge has a good article), and my partner suggested this very thing to me as well. The dashboards I made for my coven and myself (shown below) are designed for a Book of Shadows, because they’re about the here and now, containing specific a month, year, and dates. It’s not ‘evergreen’ material, which is what goes in a Grimoire. Eventually, I would like it maintain both a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire.

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Full Moon December 13th 2016 in Gemini

Gemini Constellation

Tuesday, December 13th 2016 is the Full Moon in Gemini, which the Moon enters at 7:06 PM EST that evening. The Moon leaves Gemini at 12:58 AM EST on Wednesday the 14th, so you should do your Full Moon charging on the evening of the 13th for that twinning energy. (That’s that I’m doing.) On Wednesday morning the Moon then enters Cancer at 7:09 AM, so if you charge on Wednesday night, you’re not getting Gemini energy, you’re getting Cancer energy.

To put it simply, do your Full Moon ritual after 7:06 PM EST the night of Tuesday the 13th, but before midnight. December’s Full Moon is the final of three supermoons in 2016, where the Moon appears to be both brighter and larger. 

About December’s Moon

There are many names for December’s Full Moon, but the two most common are the Long Nights Moon and the Cold Moon. Native Americans called it the Cold Moon for obvious reasons; the December Full Moon shines down on some frosty weather. Additionally, some Native American tribes called it the Long Nights Moon because it’s the time of the year when the night is the longest.  Regardless of what you call it, the meaning of the December Moon is clear: winter is here, and we must endure it.

With winter in full force this is a time of rest for many people, staying indoors with family to escape the snow, being snowed in and missing school, I hear that snow tires are a thing … curious. In Florida, where I live, the skies get gray is murky, and occasionally it gets down to around 50 degrees F and we all turn on our heaters.

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Book Review: Everyday Witchcraft by Deborah Blake

Everyday Witchcraft by Deborah BlakeThis year one of my goals was to read more, specifically about witchcraft and paganism. Most recently I finished reading Deborah Blake’s Everyday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World. I am so pleased that I got this book and read it immediately instead of stuffing it in the back of my magickal book pile. I ended up really loving it, flagging dozens of pages, transferring quotes to my book of shadows, and generally thinking about living witchcraft everyday in a much more serious way.

The level of the book is probably not beginner, but is pretty much every level after beginner. Blake doesn’t explain witchcraft or paganism to the reader (thankfully), nor does she lean too much toward one path (thankfully). What she does do is gives lots of ideas for altars, elemental correspondences, home protection, and daily witchy stuff, none of which is fluffy nonsense. The chapters were around 20 pages each, which made it very digestible, and it’s organized into ten chapters with a bonus chapter of book recommendations (yes, please!). I ended up adding a whopping eight new magick books to my wishlist thanks to this reading, including one of Blake’s other books, which she plugs just a tiny bit too much (I don’t blame her though, if I had a book published I’d work it into every conversation, and she has a lot of books out).

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Muggle-Friendly Holiday Cards for Witches and Pagans

Yule is one of the Sabbats that blends almost seamlessly with its Christian holiday equivalent: Christmas. Christians have appropriated so many pagan things from Yule, but left them so relatively unchanged that even your Catholic mother-in-law won’t suspect a thing. The noticeable exceptions to this rule are the date (Yule is the 21st, four days before Christmas) and holiday cards.

This year I really wanted to send out Yule cards, so I went on a quest. My first stop was Barnes & Noble. There I found an amazing selection of cards, one of which had a great image of the Holly King (I mean, SANTA CLAUS) on the cover. Unfortunately, on the inside it erroneously declared: “Merry Christmas!” Whut? Why is the Holly King celebrating Christmas? I digress … I then turned to the internet for help; here’s what I found.

Winner! The Yuletide Blessings card from Amber Lotus Publishing. A set of 12 is available on their website for $13.99 (I paid more than that on Amazon, but it ships free, so do your research). Inside it reads, “Warm wishes for this Winter Solstice.” They have a lot of other cards which means that I will be able to buy Yule cards from them for years before I have to find a replacement. Amber Lotus has cards for many different denominations as well and they range from serious to humorous. I think the card I selected works even if you’re in the broom closet, but they have some good, vaguely-pagan holidays cards that are even less suspect than this one.

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December 2016 Dates to Remember

December 2016 Dashboard

Hello, fellow witches and pagans! It’s December already and I thought it would be nice to list some important dates that are coming up this month. As I write posts for them they will be linked here, so feel free to bookmark this page if my blog isn’t on your feed reader (or add me to it!). You can also get new posts emailed to you my using the signup box on the toolbar.

Important Dates: December 2016

13th: Full Moon in Gemini – Final gratitude list of the Solar year.
19th: Mercury Retrograde Begins – in Capricorn; ends January 8, 2017.
21st: Yule/Winter Solstice and Sun Enters Capricorn
22nd: Celtic Month of Elder Ends
24th: Celtic Month of Birch Begins
29th: New Moon in Capricorn – Make your New Year’s resolutions/intentions on this date, unless you celebrate the Lunar New Year (as I do).