Posted on Leave a comment

Jan. 5, 2019 — Capricorn New Moon, Aragonite, Cypress, and a Partial Solar Eclipse!

Whew! It’s here! The first New Moon of 2019 and it’s a partial solar eclipse if you live in parts of east Russia and Asia, and some western parts of Alaska. While most of the world won’t be able to see the eclipse, it’s energy can still be felt and used to clear away any last dregs of what you wish to release from 2018 and to supercharge your motivation when setting goals and intentions with the Capricorn New Moon!

For those of you following along with the Book of My Shadows book or PDF, you might have started a new journal to write down your responses to the prompts. I got my journal weeks ago after literally thinking about it since I started writing the book last June. I’ve thought about what it should look like. How pretty it should be. I bought a book on how to doodle so I could make it look lively and exciting. Then I got very overwhelmed (which, honestly, isn’t that hard for me to feel). I put a lot of pressure on myself to make this journal, that probably no one will ever see, ever, Instagram worthy at any moment. Which made me not want to do anything at all! I have a Capricorn rising and Libra Venus, so I have high expectations of myself and lofty ideals. But I have also started this project to share all the knowledge I’ve gained over the years about emotional regulation, exploring and embracing the shadow aspects of ourselves, and learning and gathering the courage to step into our truest selves that I had to make a conscious decision to focus on delivering something to you all instead of getting down on myself because something isn’t as good as I want it to be or when comparing it something someone else has done. I am committed to share something with you all each New and Full Moon here, and information on retrogrades if you subscribe to my emails. The things I do will never be perfect, and I am okay with that. They will be the best job I can do with the energy that I have at the time!

I love using crystals and plants to help support me while I work, play, sleep, travel, live life, etc. For this Capricorn New Moon Aragonite and Cypress stood out as allies to support us doing the necessary reflection that the prompts call for us to do.

Aragonite is a stabilizing and grounding crystal. It’s calming and centering, so great for helping to connect yourself to the Earth so you are in a safe and stable place for doing some hard work. But my favorite thing about Aragonite is its ability to help you release blockages and attachments. This is why I made an Aragonite elixir for the Capricorn New Moon. I’ll start adding a few drops of the elixir to my beverages today and throughout the weekend to make sure the last of my blockages from 2018 are released so I’m prepared for this new year ahead.

Cypress is a great woodsy scent that I especially love this time of year. It helps with grounding and focus and can help bring back your mind from the past or future to the present moment. It’s a great ally to have at the start of the year as we look at our goals and intentions for the life we want to live. It will help give us strength as we face the changes we want to make to make to learn and grow. In many cultures, Cypress is associated with the Underworld, death, and mourning which, to me, only further demonstrates its ability to help clear blockages, help with exploring our shadow parts of ourselves, and transition to the life we want to live!

I wish you the best of luck for the year ahead. Remember to rest, eat healthy food, and drink lots of water. Listen to yourself first and foremost and learn what your boundaries and what it takes to uphold them. I recommend practicing some mindfulness at least once a day, and to help you with that I’ll post a daily activity on Instagram for you to try out. I’ll also ask for 3 things that you are grateful for that day because a daily practice of gratitude has some amazing health benefits. I look forward to our journey through 2019! Cheers!

Posted on Leave a comment

And then it was 2019 — Happy New Year!

Holy crow, New Year is here already! I can’t say that I’m fully prepared for this next phase of the journey, but I CAN say that I’m at least going to do my best at what I am able to do. I have a new journal, notebook, and some new pens, so I’ve at least some tools to help me get the job done.

Did you follow along with the blog prompts in 2018? Now is a great time to look back through all your entries and see all the hard work you have done. Looking through my own entries was an interesting exercise. I grew a lot in 2018 and it was interesting to look at the goals and intentions I set for myself at the beginning of the year, see the work I did through the prompts throughout the year, and then evaluate my growth at the end. I honestly can’t say I “completed” any one goal, but that’s because I’ve realized the goals I chose were more about growth than something that was specific and measurable. For example, one of my goals was to have stronger boundaries. Instead of making sure everyone around me was as comfortable as possible at my own expense, I decided that it was time to put my self-care first and foremost. There were three interesting side effects to doing this:

  1. My inner completionist took the reins from my inner perfectionist. I made the decision to do my best as I was able and not kill myself over making something perfect. The latter was driven by a false belief that I was only worthy if I produced something amazing and perfect, which kept me from trying a lot of things in life altogether. It kept me from putting myself out there. It kept me protected and safe. It kept me stagnant and unsatisfied. Starting this blog in April allowed me to dip my toe into the waters and see that I could survive if other people saw my words. I put a lot of work into writing Book of My Shadows for 2019, which allowed my inner perfectionist to stretch her legs, but not steal the show. And I know I’ll survive any mistakes I have made and will forgive myself easier if I don’t get something done the way I originally intended or by the time I wanted to get it done.
  2. Not everyone appreciated my new boundaries. They caused some people to see things in themselves that they weren’t ready to see and didn’t know how to work with what they saw. It made some be accountable for their actions and to be more self-aware of the effect they have on other people. Setting boundaries is challenging, especially if it’s reinforcing a boundary that you wish you would have set long ago, but didn’t. But the key thing that I keep in mind here is that those who truly love and care for me will see it as me taking care of myself in a new way and not them losing something from the process.
  3. I’ve made a lot of new friends who are on similar journeys. I’m not exactly sure when or how it happened, but at some point in the beginning of 2018 I opened a door that allowed me to meet and develop friendships with people who also admit that they are works in progress. I started to live the wisdom of “surround yourself with the people you want to be like” by spending more time with people who were continually questioning why they do things they way they do, healing their own personal traumas, and upholding a high level of personal integrity while doing such. These are people who encourage me to be my best and call me out when I can do better. I can trust their opinions when I ask for them because I know what they tell me is what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear.

One of my goals this year is to be more consistent with this blog. It will morph a bit to be more of a supplement to Book of My Shadows for 2019 instead of only rehashing of what is found in the book. This year I’m including plant and crystal allies for each entry and I will write about the benefits of using these allies not just for the prompt du jour, but in everyday life as well.

Another goal I have is to make the Instagram feed a little more active on a daily basis. To do this I’ll post mindfulness activities and ask everyone what they are grateful for every day. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can seem daunting to many, but it really is a great way to reduce anxiety and aid emotional regulation. Reflecting on what you are grateful for can help ease depression. Since Book of My Shadows is about introspection to understand yourself better, having a regular practice of mindfulness and gratitude will help keep your mind and emotions balanced.

My inner perfectionist would like me to include that this is all just an experiment and could change if it doesn’t work. And that is fine! There is nothing wrong with changing or letting go of a goal or intention that isn’t ultimately the right goal or intention to have. Things can be tweaked or even put down for a short time without having to feel like you’ve failed, because you haven’t. I think the only time we fail is when we don’t set out to try something in the first place.

If you would like to play along at home, feel free to stop by the shop and pick up your copy of Book of My Shadows for 2019. You can get a physical copy or PDF, whichever works for you!

I hope 2019 brings you health, prosperity, and the skills you need to make it the best year yet!

Posted on Leave a comment

Dec. 22 — Cancer Full Moon: Revisiting Boundaries

This is the second Full Moon in Cancer, and the last Full Moon of 2018 (the perfect book(let)end, some might say!). We began the year strengthening our boundaries, finding our safe places, and working on improving our relationships with other people. Spend time reading your entries from the previous year and answer the following questions on a sheet of paper that you can safely burn when you are done to release what no longer serves you from your life.

Where do I still struggle with my boundaries?
Where do I still struggle with my emotions?
Where do I still struggle with my self-confidence?
In what ways do I depend on the feelings of others for approval and sense of identity?
In what areas of life do I not feel safe?
In your journal, write down the answers to the following:
In what areas have my boundaries improved?
How has strengthening my boundaries changed my relationships with others?
In what new ways do I feel belonging?
What new strengths do I have?
Where have I found safety and sanctuary?
What new allies and relationships have I found?

Posted on Leave a comment

Dec. 6 — Sagittarius New Moon: Celebrate!

It’s the last New Moon of 2018! It’s a time to celebrate all the hard work that you have done and all the progress that you have made! Sagittarius is a traveler, so see if you can go someplace to celebrate, or make some plans to do so. Is there a gathering or conference that calls to your Spirit? Or a place in the wilderness? Wherever it is, make a plan that you can carry out because you’ve earned this getaway! This New Moon isn’t going to let you off the hook as far as work goes, though, there’s still plenty more to do. Read a book or take a online class that will contribute to the work that you’re been doing because Sagittarius loves intellectual stimulation. Use the tarot prompts below for any additional inspiration.

  1. What is one way I can renew faith in myself?
  2. What do I need to wrap up before moving on?
  3. How can be more independent?
  4. What is something new I need to learn?
  5. Where do I need to put more trust?

Take a look at the goals and intentions you are still working on for this year and see how the learnings fit into them. Make a plan that will take you to the end of the year and into the next where you will continue your journey!

Posted on Leave a comment

Nov. 22 — Gemini Full Moon: Investigate

Happy Full Moon in Gemini! The energy is all about being inquisitive and learning more about others, and yourself. Since today is Thanksgiving in America, which is a day for a lot of awkward social interaction for many, today’s post offers a suggestion to treat difficult interactions with difficult people like you are a journalist reporting on the facts. This assumes that the environment is a safe place to have these conversations. There are some ugly people/relatives in the world that don’t deserve your energy and attention. But for those relatives whom you do still care about, but who also have some opinions that are drastically different than yours, this could work.

Gemini is a very social and communicative sign, you might have felt it’s strong energy already! Gemini also helps remind us to be open minded, look at other people’s perspectives, and attempt to understand different ways of thinking about the world. This can be a very overwhelming time of year for some, and if you find yourself in that boat, try not to hide yourself away but figure out a way to change your perspective towards what is overwhelming you.

What do I appreciate about this time of year?

What do I look forward to most?

How can I really listen to what others are saying?

What is something I want to learn from them?

What is something others can learn about me?

What do we have in common?

If you face a holiday situation that is extremely challenging to you, first consider if you really need to attend. You are the best judge and creator of your own self-care. If you determine you want to go and try to make the best of things, invoke the duality of Gemini by creating an alter ego who is a reporter for a newspaper covering your holiday festivities. Be objective, ask lots of questions, and observe what others are saying and doing and how they are acting. If you find yourself placing judgment, remind yourself that you job is to remain neutral and to report each side of the story from their perspective.

The New York Times has a great article that backs this up. It includes an Angry Uncle Bot that allows you to practice these difficult conversations by asking questions in a way that doesn’t trigger anyone’s fight or flight responses. The article says, “Our political attitudes and beliefs are intertwined with our most basic human needs – needs for safety, belonging, identity, self-esteem and purpose – and when they’re threatened, we’re biologically wired to respond as if we’re in physical peril.” It also says:

Questions are powerful because they make people feel safe, demonstrate respect, gather useful information, contribute to understanding, elicit empathy, build relationships and encourage self-reflection. Asking people about their own experiences in a nonjudgmental way is an especially good opening because it gives them an opportunity to talk about a subject they care and know more about: themselves.

The bot also helps you reflect what you’ve heard back to the person you are talking with so that person feels heard and that you understand what what they are saying.

The article also delivers a clear message as to why this is important and necessary work:

Given the challenge, it’s tempting to avoid political discussions in mixed company altogether. Why risk provoking your angry uncle when you can chat about pumpkin pie instead? The answer is that when we choose avoidance over engagement, we are sacrificing a critical opportunity and responsibility to facilitate social and political change.

This work extends beyond tonight’s dinner table. It’s important that we use this energy on a regular basis so we can change the systems of oppression that continue to keep people down. Listening to others so they feel like they have been heard can help set the stage to empathize with where they coming from to choose the opinions that the have. It can also open the door to share your stories and struggles so they can build empathy for you. Once both sides have empathy, it might be easier to come together and think of solutions that could benefit everyone. While the Thanksgiving holiday has a lot problems I’m not going to address here, we can use this time as a way to lessen the divide that pushes us apart and build our empathy and understanding of people with opinions that differ from our own.

How to Have a Conversation With Your Angry Uncle Over Thanksgiving from the New York Times.

Posted on Leave a comment

Nov. 7 — Scorpio New Moon: Next Steps

Photo for illustration by Yash Ruat.

Scorpio season is an intense time! We’ve come a long way since the beginning of 2018 and hopefully have learned some ways to look deep into ourselves and access our own power to manifest the intentions we had to heal and grow. Let’s journey within all this Scorpio intensity this New Moon. Use the prompts below to aid your reflection:

  1. What is growing deep inside me that is ready to see some light?
  2. Where do I need to reclaim my power?
  3. What part of my transformation should I focus on at this time?
  4. One thing can I do to heal my pain and trauma from my past:
  5. What advice does my Higher Self have for me today?

Think of the goals and intentions that you are currently working on. Where do the learnings from the reading fit in? Make a checklist of ways you can work on your goals and see what you can accomplish by the end of the year.

Posted on Leave a comment

Oct. 24 — Taurus Full Moon: Final Harvest

Photos for illustration by chuttersnap and artsuaga

It’s time for the final harvest of the year and this can be an unsettling part of the year for some: the decreasing daylight, colder/wetter weather, the thinning of the Veil affects us all in more ways than one. Taurus is the sign of creature comforts, stability, and growth, so we’ll use the energy of this Full Moon to ease ourselves into the Winter and prepare for growth to take place, even in the darkness. This is also good work to do since Venus – the planet that rules Taurus – is retrograde. Answer the following questions on a piece of paper:

What am anxious or worried about right now?

What grief or sadness am I holding onto?

What frustrations am I facing?

Safely burn the piece of paper to release these feelings, they no longer serve you. On another sheet of paper, write out some ways you can move past them.

Create a list of things you need to do and a separate list of things you want to do. Keep from interjecting the expectations of other people and prioritize the items in the list.
What are things you are looking forward to doing in the coming months? What traditions do you have? What’s something you’ve always wanted to do?

Posted on Leave a comment

Oct. 8 — Libra New Moon: Balance

Photo by Jordan Steranka

Can you feel the Veil beginning to thin? Can you smell October in the air? We have begun our decent into the dark half of the year and it’s time for Libra’s help to check in with our relationships. This is especially important work to do right now as Venus – the planet that rules Libra – is in retrograde. It’s easy to forget to make time for other people when you are working on your own personal healing, so now is the time to think about the relationships that matter to you and check in with them. Who can you make time to spend with? Which relationships are okay to let fizzle out? Libra is also the sign of the scales and balance; use the tarot prompts below to figure out where in your life you might need more balance.

1. Overall impression – am I balanced or off kilter?

2. Where can I be more balanced physically?

3. Where can I be more balanced mentally?

4. Where can I be more balanced spiritually?

5. How can I bring more balance to my relationships?

Posted on Leave a comment

Sept. 24 — Aries Full Moon: Harvest Time

Photos for illustration by Jeff Nissen and Annie Spratt

This is the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, making it the Harvest Moon. Along with giving thanks for what we have and all the blessings we have received in the year, it’s time to harvest our intentions that we have been tending to all year long and clear out the clutter in our homes and minds. Hopefully you have been able to finish up the deep cleaning that was prescribed for the Virgo New Moon, you have taken inventory of what you have, and donated/given away what you no longer need. And hopefully your home feels fresh, clean, and is buzzing with good energy! It’s time to do that your physical self, so we’ll use the Aries energies of self-confidence and new beginnings do a little rebranding exercise  Look back at your previous entries and then answer the following questions:

Who have I become this year? What are ways my work to move into my Higher Self has manifested? What do I need to know to go to the next level?

Who do I want to be to other people? Caution! This question is not the same as, “Who do others need/want me to be?”

What are some ways that I can share my journey and my progress with others? How can I introduce my new Self to the world?

What’s something I can do to update my personal image? Cutting or coloring your hair, wearing a new perfume or cologne, wearing different accessories, or cutting back on how you adorn yourself are some ideas. What will make you feel fresh and confident?

Posted on Leave a comment

Sept. 9 — Virgo New Moon: Preparation

Photo by Anastasia Dulgier

It is getting close to harvest time, and now is time to begin to take inventory. This is a task Virgo loves to perform – any chance to be picky! Thinking about your goals and intentions that you still working on manifesting, as well as in your personal and professional life, make a list of things that are working for you and things that are not. While your are list making, make a list of things you want to accomplish by the end of the year, and take/plan some steps to take to accomplish those things. Virgo energy also loves helping other people; make a list of people and/or organizations that you would like to help. Now is also a great time to begin to prepare your home for the dark half of the year by deep cleaning, decluttering, and getting rid of objects, clothing, and junk you don’t need an haven’t used. Use the tarot spread below if you need any more inspiration on how to work the Virgo New Moon in your life.

Who needs my attention the most right now?

How can I declutter myself mentally?

How can I be more organized in my life?

What healthy habits might I try to introduce?

How can I be more positive?