Magickal Journal Ideas for December 2017

I started this feature last month and it very helpful for my own writing. I am keeping it going this month because, to me, December is the perfect time to stay indoors and work on a project. Below I’ve have a list of topics to pack your magickal journal over the course of December. There are both prompts and correspondences below.

Activities/Prompts

Brag Letter: One of my favorite holiday traditions is the brag letter. A member of my own family sends one, and it’s always highly anticipated. The brag letter gets a bad reputation because we are supposed to be ‘humble’, but what’s wrong with being proud of our accomplishments? Consider writing a brag letter of your own in your magickal journal; there’s no need to send it if that makes you uncomfortable, just write it out. It can be as serious or as sarcastic as you want, and it might even surprise you.

Guided Meditation: December, for me, is a month of introspection. Consider a guided meditation; you can find one with the audio already recorded online, or you can use a written one and record yourself reading it. If you choose the latter, add the text of the guided meditation to your magickal journal, along with your reflection.

New Year’s Divination: The Yuletide season is the perfect time for divination, especially about the coming year. Record the results of your divination, and, if you have it, reflect on your divination from the previous Yule.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

A Witch’s Guide to Lunar Trackers

Bullet journaling seems to be tailor made for witches of all levels who are interested in tracking their practice. A sub-set of bullet journaling is graphic trackers, of which a moon wheel is about as perfect for witchcraft as you can get. Lunar trackers can be used to keep track of the minutiae of the moon’s movement throughout the lunar cycle, thus helping witches move into advanced spell work and get to know themselves (and their craft) better.

Getting into intermediate and advanced witchcraft requires more advanced lunar tracking techniques; whether you choose to use the information or not, it’s good to know where the moon’s at. While waiting until there is a waxing moon in Scorpio to do you body-positivity spell may sound fussy, it can give a much-needed boost to witches moving into a phase of more advanced spellwork. My disclaimer is that, if you’re a baby witch who is just starting out, don’t be bothered too much about moon times or signs. Full moon and new moon are the only dates you need to know, once you’re completely comfortable with that, then move on to more advanced tracking.

I recommend using the lunar tracking wheel (pictured above) made by Cheeky Magpie; I like a plain one, but she also created some with seasonal backgrounds that are very nice. Witches are not, by a big stretch of the imagination, the only people who track the moon. People plant by it, fish by it, breed animals by it, track their cycles by it, even use the moon to monitor their moods; just about anything you can think of people have used these moon charts for. Because they are so non-denominational, I’ll show you how to witch them up for your practice.

Continue reading

Numerology: Limping Through 2017

In December I posted about why 2016 was such a rough year and specifically used Numerology to explain it. I said, in short,  that 2016 was so rough for so many because it was a Year 9. What I didn’t write about was that, even though Year 1’s have the possibility to be better … they aren’t always so great at first. There are two potential reasons. One is because the trials of 9 only reward those who let go of what they were supposed to. The other hiccup is that sowing the seeds for the upcoming nine year cycle is hard work at a time when many of us are not yet ready for it. Especially if the necessary “letting go” process of last year was incomplete or didn’t happen at all. If the Year 9 “let go and leap” dictum wasn’t fully embraced, there are going to be unresolved issues lingering. This Year 1 of 2017 may be going great for you, and it may not. It may be lousy now and good later. The generally lousy vibe in the air right now may very well be due to the Saturn Retrograde that’s putting so many of us in statis (thanks Saturn) and/or the Mercury Retrograde in Taurus/Aries that’s sending us into a spendy semi-rage. There are a whopping five planets in Retrograde in April 2017 so it’s Retrograde City right now, basically. However, Retrogrades are perfect for ending things, so it’s actually a great opportunity to release anything you stubbornly brought with you into 2017 (like me, personal example to follow).

In December, here’s how I explained the Numerology cycle:

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The Lunar New Year 2016: The Year of the Monkey for Pagans

2016 the Year of the Monkey

The Lunar New Year was on February 8, 2016 this year, though technically, this is the 4,713th Lunar Year. As a Monkey (metal) myself I welcome all the new Monkeys (fire) born this year. Many pagans don’t know much about the Lunar New Year (also called the Chinese New Year), even though so many of us follow a Lunar cycle. I believe that there are lessons for us in it regardless, and as an eclectic Pagan-Taoist, it’s a holiday that is especially important to me.

Monkeys are a sign of laughter, goofiness, intelligence, and a lack of self-control. For me, some of it seems to make no sense because it am not indulgent in vices and I work hard, but if you look closer you’ll notice I have lots of hobbies and interests which removes the ability to focus on just one. I am a very sarcastic person, always joking, and was the class clown in High School, but I’m also also a teacher. As with all signs balance is key, so this is not necessarily going to be an easy year for us Monkeys, as we are the ones whose issues come to the forefront. That being said it has the potential to be amazing because happily our strengths are here as well! Physical health, good communication, and temperance must be kept in mind this lunar year. It is a year of activity, creativity, and harnessing those things, if you can make them work to your benefit, is a very good thing. Monkeys are smart but they can also be dishonest, so spend the year experimenting with honesty, it can be freeing (see Pamela Meyer’s “How to Spot a Liar” TED Talk). The Tao says not to try and eliminate your weaknesses, but to make them into your strengths, excellent advice for this lunar year.

Continue reading

Athena Collage Altar Card

Athena Collage

After I made the High Priestess tarot card I immediately started on this small altar card. Collage is one way I practice ‘active meditation’, one of the few times I truly feel like I am living in the moment.

I named this collage “Athena” even though the goddess doesn’t resonate with me personally, and I’m so glad I chose that title, because it found it’s home with a wonderful person who feels connected to Athena. Here’s a little more information about the goddess herself:

Athena was the Greek virgin goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature. She was the daughter of Zeus; her birth is unique in that she did not have a mother. Instead, she sprang full grown and clad in armor from Zeus’ forehead.

She was fierce and brave in battle; however, she only took part in wars that defended the state and home from outside enemies. She was the patron of the city, handcraft, and agriculture. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot. She was the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity. She was Zeus’ favorite child and was allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. Her holy tree was the olive tree and she was often symbolized as an owl.

However, what this blurb leaves out, is that Athena testified against Clytemnestra in the trial of Orestes. Clytemnestra was the wife of Agamemnon and the mother of Iphigenia and Orestes. Before leaving for the Trojan War, Agamemnon sacrificed Iphigenia to the gods. When he returned from the war (with Cassandra, his prize), Clytemnestra murdered him for the killing of their daughter. In turn, Orestes killed his mother (Clytemnestra) to avenge the death of his father (Agamemnon). Because of this Orestes was pursued by the Furies, who torment those who commit blood killings, until he was put on trial by the gods. Athena testified that, because of her birth, women had nothing to do with the child’s blood line, but that fathers were the only important parent. After Orestes was pardoned the Furies transformed into the Erinyes and the matriarchy was officially dead.

Regardless of what I wrote above, Athena is still remembered as a powerful and more masculine goddess, which appeals to me, and she’s the goddess of intellect, so what’s not to like?

I hope you enjoy my card and lecture; have a lovely Yule. Blessed be!

Sources

Greek Mythology