Full Moon December 3rd 2017 in Gemini

December 2017 Full Moon in Gemini

December’s Full Moon is on Sunday, December 3rd at 10:47 PM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on May 25th 2017 with the New Moon in Gemini. The Moon moves into Gemini at 4:21 PM on Saturday December 2nd, and exits Gemini at 2:13 PM on Monday December 4th. This information is also available in list form in my December 2017 Cosmic Concerns post.

Importantly, Mercury, which is Gemini’s ruling planet, goes Retrograde just before the Full Moon at 2:34 AM EST on Sunday the 3rd. Because of that, I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on the evening of December 2nd after 4:21 PM. You can do your ritual any time on December 3rd if you choose, of course. Regardless, to charge items, they should sit out on the night of the 2nd. December’s Full Moon is also a Supermoon, so enjoy the extra close Moon time.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full 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.

About December’s Full Moon

There are many names for December’s Full Moon, but the most common is the Cold Moon and Long Nights Moon. Native Americans called it the Cold Moon for obvious reasons; the December Full Moon shines down on some chilly 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. For modern people, winter can be anywhere between somewhat inconvenient and quite enjoyable, but traditionally winter was a time of extreme danger through which survival was not guaranteed. The message of December’s Full Moon, grounded in this tradition, is that the winter has arrived and it must be endured.

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Book Review: Llewellyn’s 2017 Witches’ Companion

Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' CompanionAfter I enjoyed last year’s volume so much that I was looking forward to reading the 2017 installment of Llewellyn’s Witches’ Companion: An Almanac for Contemporary Living; apparently the reviewing part just took a little while. However, my goal was to get this review up before the end of the year, and I did, but expect a review of the 2018 edition much sooner next year. This is the 9th installment in the Witches’ Companion series, and it has a very lovely urban witchcraft themed cover illustration. Can we get a foldout poster? The Companion series is a set of interesting articles, ranging between 8 to 13 pages long, that take up debates and interesting issues in the pagan and witchcraft community, and explore them in a well-written and thoughtful way. Not all of the articles will resonate, but the wide variety of articles means that something will almost certainly interest you, and you might learn about something you have never considered before. It’s also diverse enough that an eclectic pagan witch, like myself, will feel welcome. Instead of speaking in endless generalities I’ve decided to give more information and specific reviews of my favorite articles, just like last year. They are reviewed in order of appearance in the book.

“The Dark Aspects of Bright-Siding” by Charlie Rainbow Wolf

This article discusses a concept known as ‘bright-siding’ ie: always looking on the bright side of things despite that facts that life isn’t always so sunny. This article addresses the many downsides of having a relentlessly positive attitude, including the ways that it can lead to failure. This article is definitely worth a read, and a lot of it can be applied to non-magickal folks. I am decidedly not a ‘look on the bright side’ kind of person, and it’s nice to see someone extolling the virtues of this view. Everything in moderation, though, of course. If you don’t like this article you can read “Good Vibe Badass” in this same annual instead for the positive side of positive thinking.

“The Dark Goddess as Initiator: Reading into Fairy Tale and Myth” by Jane Meredith

I absolutely love fairy tales and teach them in my classroom whenever I can, so this article resonated with me. It explores the way dark goddesses appear in myth and fairy tale, and offers a lens through which to re-interpret them, not as ‘bad women’, but as dark goddesses. The article sets up a much more interesting reading of these characters, not viewing the young princess as opposite the ‘bad’ queen, but seeing them as connected and existing on the same path. This was my favorite article in the collection.

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My Current Magickal Book Wishlist

One of my proudest accomplishments of 2017 (the year’s not even over yet, but whatever) is that I started reading more. I’m a teacher, so I’m reading for work constantly, which means leisure reading takes a back seat whenever school is in session. Happily, I found a place for regular reading in my day-to-day life, at the gym of all places, and I’ve been steadily working my way through my magickal book shelves ever since.

This is essentially a Top 10 list of witchcraft and paganism books that I’d like to read before the end of next year. To be on the list it has to be on my Amazon wishlist and I have to not have a copy of it yet. You could use it as a guide to bulk up your own reading list/magickal library, and if you have read any of these, I would love to know what you think of them! They are organized alphabetically by book title; clicking on images opens the cover image larger, and book title links go to Amazon.

Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli

Ancient Ways: Reclaiming the Pagan Tradition by Pauline Campanelli (2014) – There are two Pauline Campanelli books on my wishlist, the other is Wheel of the Year: Living a Magical Life. This book is for the whole Wheel of the Year; most of the books I have are for one Sabbat, so I’m interested in adding another book to my shelves that covers the whole year.

The Hearth Witch's Compendium by Anna Franklin

The Hearth Witch’s Compendium: Magical and Natural Living for Every Day by Anna Franklin (2017) – I am always wanting to learn more about witchcraft, especially around the home, which is where I do the majority of my magickal work. This book is an assemblage of recipes, spells, and tips and it has excellent reviews. I leafed through it at the bookstore and it looks like a really good reference to have around.

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Cosmic Concerns: December 2017

Cosmic Movement for December 2017

This list of December 2017’s astrological events is for witches and pagans who are interested in what’s going on in the cosmos. All times listed are in EST (Eastern Standard) and should be adjusted for your own time zone. Please note that this list is not even close to being exhaustive, but compiled by me to list events that are of magickal importance. This information is great to copy into your magickal journal if you maintain one; if you are looking for something more extensive my guide to lunar trackers is on the site here. I hope that you find it helpful; blessed be!

Planetary Movement, December 2017

1st: Venus enters Sagittarius 4:14 AM
3rd: Mercury Retrograde 2:34 AM
9th: Mars enters Scorpio 3:59 AM
19th: Saturn enters Capricorn 11:49 PM
21st: Sun enters Capricorn 11:28 AM
22nd: Mercury Direct 8:51 PM
25th: Venus enters Capricorn 12:26 AM

Moon Cycle, December 2017

2nd: Moon enters Gemini 4:21 PM
3rd: Full Moon in Gemini 10:47 AM (Supermoon)
4th: Moon void-of-course 2:13 PM, enters Cancer 3:37 PM
15th: Moon enters Sagittarius 8:07 PM
18th: New Moon in Sagittarius 1:30 AM; Moon void-of-course 8:10 AM, enters Capricorn 8:33 AM

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Cosmic Concerns: Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius December 3rd – 22nd 2017

Mercury will be spreading holiday cheer in the form of a Retrograde period in Fire sign Sagittarius from December 3rd through December 22nd 2017. While I believe that the way Mercury Retrograde affects you is based largely on your own astrological makeup, there are some things to watch out for, regardless. Below you will find the specific timing of this Retrograde including shadow periods, things to watch out for when there’s a Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius, and general tips for a Mercury Retrograde, including what you can do about it.

Exact Timing

November 14th 2017: Shadow Period Begins
December 3rd 2017: Mercury Retrograde 2:34 AM
December 22nd 2017: Mercury Direct 8:51 PM
January 10th 2018: Shadows Period Ends

Mercury Retrograde in Sagittarius Tips

Curb Your Wanderlust – Sagittarius is the traveler of the zodiac, so you may feel a winter pull to book travel plans to some exotic locale. As advertisements for ‘spiritual retreats’ pop up, consider having a mini-retreat at home and put off booking the flight to faraway. Instead, you can engage in a journey through your inner thoughts; Sagittarius is known for their love of learning, after all. Try a guided meditation or journaling instead. Luckily, if you have been spiritually slacking, this Mercury Retrograde may help you start back up. If you’ve been on a roll, take some time for introspection.

Holiday Travel Plans – Even though I’d recommend double checking travel plans during any Mercury Retrograde, I recommend quadruple checking them during one in Sagittarius that’s also during the holidays aka the triple threat. Flights getting cancelled during winter isn’t exactly something new, after all. Mercury Retrogrades are also known for issues with mail; it won’t hurt to shop for and/or send gifts early this year.

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Aventurine and Peridot Crystal Grid for Prosperity

Crystal Grid for Prosperity

This crystal grid uses aventurine, peridot, pyrite included quartz, and clear quartz to attract prosperity. Above is my actual prosperity grid that I used for over a year and a half, and, while it took some time to get going, it ended up working very well. I have disassembled it now, since I don’t like to put my active spells online for personal reasons, but I don’t see any reason that I shouldn’t post it now. I hope you will find it helpful!

Supplies:

Aventurine x4
Clear quartz generator crystal
Crystal grid base
Peridot x4
Pyrite or pyrite included quartz points x8

Before you begin, cleanse the crystals and the grid using your preferred method.

Directions:

Chose a place to keep your crystal grid that won’t be disturbed for a long period of time. Since this is a prosperity grid it is associated with Earth, so on the East side of your home, room, or office is ideal. Start by assembling your grid in the pattern shown above. The generator crystal goes in the center, and the aventurine crystals are placed at the North, South, East, and West points. The peridot is spaced evenly between each aventurine at North East, South East, South West, and North West. Finally, the small, pyrite included quartz points (you can also use pyrite or clear quartz points) are placed between each crystal.

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New Moon November 18th 2017 in Scorpio

The November 2017 New Moon in Scorpio occurs at 6:42 AM EST on Saturday, November 18th, which is when the Moon also goes void-of-course (a not uncommon occurrence). The Moon then enters Sagittarius at 1:59 PM that same day. The good news is that the Moon is in Scorpio all day Friday November 17th, and it enters Scorpio at 3:19 AM on Thursday November 16th, so it will essentially be in Scorpio for two full days. This information is also detailed in my Cosmic Concerns: November 2017 post if you’d like to see this information as a list.

What this means is that you can do your New Moon ritual after 3:19 AM on the 16th (shouldn’t be too hard since I hope you’ll be sleeping then), or any time on the 17th.

The two week manifestation point for this New Moon is on Sunday, December 3rd with the Full Moon in Gemini. This also happens to be when Mercury goes Retrograde in Sagittarius, oh goody gumdrops. The six month manifestation point is on Sunday, April 29th 2018 with the Full Moon in Scorpio.

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.

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Book Review: Practical Protection Magick by Ellen Dugan

Practical Protection Magick by Ellen DuganI picked up Ellen Dugan’s book, Practical Protection Magick: Guarding & Reclaiming Your Power, over a year before I read it, then once I did read it, months passed before I wrote this review of it. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to reviewing this book because my views of it are, on the whole, quite positive (you all know how critical I can be of witchcraft books), and I think it deserves a spot in the library of anyone who is interested in the subject of protection magick.

Practical Protection Magick was published by Llewellyn in 2011 and has kind of a ‘look how witchy I am’ style cover, which I hope won’t deter you from reading it. In the introduction Dugan explains that this book on protection magick and psychic self defense exists in the ‘middle ground’ between so-called white and black magick. A lot of purists don’t believe in protection/defense magick, while others don’t feel comfortable with this, shall we say, shadier side of the magickal path. That’s partially because, as Dugan points out, witches either like to consider themselves invulnerable, or pretend that no one in our community is sketchy (yeah, right). The book contains information, spells, and exercises divided into nine chapters that include four elemental-themed (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water) chapters, amongst others. The level of this book is definitely intermediate, though there are things in here that both beginning and advanced witches should find helpful.

I really enjoyed Chapter 1: “Psychic Awareness and Witchery,” which includes a self-assessment to help one determine what their psychic strengths (and, by association, their weaknesses) are. The four types of psychic strengths analyzed are clairvoyance, clairaudience, empathy, and intuition. Most witches consider themselves to be one or more of these things, but having a survey to take and analyze was very helpful. The results that I got provided me with some interesting insights. The section that follows discusses strengths and weaknesses of each type, which I found extremely informative. Chapter 2: “Knowledge is Power (Air)” also begins with a self-reflection; a series of questions to help the reader understand their own magickal background. This is followed by an exploration of psychic attack, including how to notice it, symptoms of it, how to deal with it, and a section on different types of hauntings.

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

I wrote the first installment in this Witch’s Guide to Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows series around this time last year, and it has a lot of views, which I hope means that people are finding it helpful! After choosing a format your Grimoire or Book of Shadows (aka BoS), the next logical step is figure out how you’re going to organize your magickal journal.

For the purpose of simplicity I will talk about three basic types of magickal journals: digital, notebook, and ring bound. A digital BoS or Grimoire is one that is housed online in some form, be it in Pages, WordPress, Tumblr, Evernote, etc. A notebook BoS/Grimoire is one that has the pages bound in some way, so that they cannot be swapped around, such as a spiral notebook, composition book, or Moleskine notebook. Finally, a ring bound BoS/Grimoire is one that has rings and that can be re-organized easily, ie: discbound planners, ring bound planners, or three-ring binders.

Your magickal journal, regardless of the form it takes, will have a lot of sections in common with a ‘real’ book, and so many of the terms I’m going to use here are from book organization itself. A lot of these terms will apply to magickal journals that are exclusively online as well, though not all will. This installment focuses more on organization than content, though that will definitely be a future topic.

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15 Magickal Self-Care Ideas for Witches

Now that we’re in the dark half of the year, ’tis the season for self-care.

I was very intrigued when the concept of ‘self-care’ came to my attention; I teach all day, which I enjoy, but being around people left me feeling drained (classic introvert). At first I thought that self-care meant laying in bed or hiding in the dark for an entire day, so I did just that, but it didn’t help me feel recharged.

In reality, self-care is more empowering than giving in to your impulse to never move. Self-care means that you need to make yourself a priority and push yourself to take care of yourself. The guiding principle of self-care is, in other words, to do something that fills you back up rather than something that drains you. Below is my list of witchy self-care activities, some of which can be done at a moment’s notice, and others that need minimal magickal preparation.

1. Active Meditation – This is doing something that puts you ‘in the zone’ versus traditional, passive meditation (see #13 below). Active meditation can be anything from art projects to walking the dog, but if you lose yourself in it, then it’s active meditation. Active meditation means that you are lost in the moment, that you don’t feel time passing, and doing the activity that enables it can feel very rewarding.

2. Aromatherapy – I don’t know many witches who don’t have at least a few candles around, and filling your space with fragrance can really lighten a mood. I like seasonal smells since the weather doesn’t change much around here, but you can use any scents that help you feel positive emotions. For a magickal boost, use incense that has been charged or has a specific benefit (ie: lavender to calm). Carve sigils into the candles or write affirmations on them to focus their energy release as they burn.

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Magickal Journal Ideas for November 2017

Maybe it’s the introspective nature of the Samhain season, but lately I’ve been wanting to redouble my efforts to fill my own grimoire. Below I have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal over the course of November. There are both prompts and correspondences listed below the activities. Hopefully we will all be inspired!

Activities/Prompts

Recipes: Any favorite recipes, Sabbat recipes, recipes only you know, or special family recipes that haven’t been recorded can go in your magickal journal. Not all people keep recipes in their magickal journal, but there’s no reason not to if it resonates with you. If you don’t want to keep food recipes in your journal, think of a home remedy from your grandparents or great-grandparents and record it instead.

Thanksgiving Gratitude List: I usually reserve gratitude lists for Full Moons, but Thanksgiving is a holiday about thankfulness, after all (at least in its modern form). Spend time around Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it) creating a master gratitude page in your magickal journal. Even if ‘gratitude’ it hokey to you, consider it a piece of attracting magick. This can be everything you are thankful for in life, or just in the last year.

Thanksgiving Reflection: Thanksgiving is a stressful holiday for a lot of people (myself included); before Thanksgiving, write a list of everything that you are worried is going to go wrong. Whether you realize it or not, you are giving energy to these fears. Once you have written them down, allow your mind to let them go; they’re in a safe place, no need to remember them anymore. After Thanksgiving is over, review the list. One of two things will happen: all or most of your fears will not have happened, or some/all of them have, and you’ve still survived. Variation: Once you have written your list of fears, burn the list in your cauldron to release them. Add a post-holiday reflection to your magickal journal in its place.

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Full Moon November 4th 2017 in Taurus

November’s Full Moon is on Saturday, November 4th at 1:23 AM EST; this Full Moon ends the cycle that started on April 26th 2017 with the New Moon in Taurus. The Moon moves into Taurus at 5:46 AM on Friday November 3rd, and exits Taurus at 4:49 AM on Sunday November 5th. This information is also available in list form in my November 2017 Cosmic Concerns post.

I recommend doing your Full Moon ritual on November 3rd after 5:46 AM, or any time on November 4th to work with Taurus energy. To charge items, they should sit out on either the night of the 3rd (recommended) or the 4th if you wake up super early.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to Full 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.

About November’s Full Moon

There are many names for November’s Full Moon, but the two most common are the Beaver Moon and the Mourning Moon. The Native Americans call it the Beaver Moon either because it was the last chance to put out beaver traps before everything froze or because this was the time beavers were actively preparing for winter; they also called it the Frost or Frosty Moon. The November Full Moon is called the Mourning Moon in the Pagan tradition, which represents the death of the old god (as in elderly, not as in past) and the mourning is of him by the goddess. This can also represent Demeter mourning Persephone as she spends her time in the underworld, since this is the Full Moon after Samhain and the Day of the Dead, or the beginning of winter’s shorter days meaning the loss of precious sunlight. Regardless of what you call it, the meaning of the November Moon is that winter is imminent and we must finish preparing for it.

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