Celtic Month of the Elder: Nov. 25 – Dec. 23

The 13th Lunar month of the Celtic calendar is Elder.  This tree marks a time of endings and beginnings.

I honor the energy of Elder, which sees the end from the beginning.
Throughout many lifetimes I have been here.
I have the knowledge that I have changed myself again and again.
I will start from where I am now, and continue to persist in my path.
I will succeed.
So mote it be.

 

The Elder Moon is the last month in the cycle of the 13 Celtic Moon months, and it indicates the renewal of energy and continuous journey of the soul toward greater happiness and understanding.  The Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night occurs during Elder Moon and is the chance to focus on your heart’s desire.

Annual Evaluation

The Elder Moon is time to bring a halt to habit-forming patterns that have restricted your growth, so that you may heal and move on.  Evaluate what you learned during the past year and give yourself time to work out what you want from life.  Perform spells that conclude the annual cycle and release the energy you invested in previous projects and endeavors, so that you may concentrate on conceiving your new dreams for the New Year.

TREE OF LIFE AND DEATH

The elder tree’s ability to recover when damaged has made it a symbol of regeneration since ancient times, and for this reason it was used in burial rites in British long barrows, an ancient style of grave.  Due to its white flowers (life) and black berries (death), the tree is also sacred to the Mother Goddess who governs birth and death.

Protective Powers

The wood is believed to have protective properties to because of the powerful Dryad spirit that lives within it.  When planted near a home, the tree will ward off intruders. The healing powers of the elder are also thought to cure insomnia (by placing elderberries in a spell bag under a pillow) and ensure health of unborn babies (when pregnant women kiss its bark).

Tree Magick
by Gillian Kemp

 Your life becomes charmed because the Elder tree, superstitiously nicknamed “Elder Queen” and “Good Mother” protects trees, fairies, and you from harm.
You may draw strength from advice rooted in bonds with your mother or grandmother.

Elder Tree Properties and Correspondences:
Element: Water
Symbolism: Judgment, Transformation, Death & Regeneration, Fate, The Inevitable
Color: Black, Dark Green, Blood Red
Deity: Hel, Hela, Holda, Venus, Hilde, The White Lady

Medicinal properties:
Traditionally all parts of Elder are useful medicinally. The berries and the leaves are both rich in vitamin C. The leaves can be made into ear drops to treat pain and inflammation. The flowers make a tea that is good for treating coughs and irritable throats, as well as being made into a skin cleanser and lotion. The bark of the new small twigs can be made into a laxative. The bark, roots, berries and leaves can all be used as a dye.  And the berries are good for making jam, wine, vinegar, and syrups.

Magickal properties:
Exorcism, Prosperity, Banishment and Healing
The leaves and berries are used for protection and in breaking spells that were cast against you or t
o undo spells of evil intent. Growing an elder in your garden will protect your property from misfortune and harm. In Europe they planted elder in cemeteries to keep away the evil spirits.

Celtic Moon sign – Elder Moon

 The elder is a very adaptable tree, quite able to regenerate itself in many ways. It can be rooted from a branch and re-grows limbs quickly, allowing it to recover from damage of both natural and unnatural assailants with equal ease. Born under the elder sign, you are able to live and prosper under any conditions. You will live many “lives” during your time here, and will carry those memories into every new venture. Think of yourself as a gypsy and a student, collecting experience and knowledge so that you may eventually become a great teacher.

 The last full moon of the year represents completeness.
Cast spells dealing with closure, and take stock of what you have achieved.

 If the Elder is your Moon Tree your imagination is fertile. You can make something beautiful out of anything, and you always feel wealthy no matter how little you have. Most importantly, you know that love is free. You are likely to be happiest in a profession that allows you to care for others.

LESSON OF THE ELDER
from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

 “The lesson of the elder is a difficult one. Not only are you asked to accept the inevitability of your own death, but you are also asked the far more personal and potentially embarrassing question – how might you be fated to be remembered, both for good and ill, were you to die today? In the dark days of winter, elder presents us with a mirror in which we must see ourselves truly reflected if we are to die with dignity and without regrets.”

The Celtic Tree OraclE

The Celtic Tree Oracle

 The circle will always turn afresh, change and creativity arising from the old and brining about the new. All is continuously linked as phases of life and experience repeat themselves in subtly different forms, leading always to renewal.

Folklore holds that it is unlucky to use Elder wood for a child’s cradle, which should always be made our to Birch for a new start and inception. In the Ogham calendar, the Elder rules the thirteenth month. The Elder, with its distinctive, easily hollowed, pithy stems, is a tree of regeneration. It re-grows damaged branches readily and it will root and grow rapidly from any part.

 This Ogham card is linked to the eternal turnings of life and death, birth and rebirth. It represents the end in the beginning and the beginning in the end; life in death and death in life; the casting out of the devils of the old year and the renewal and creativity of the new; the timelessness of the cycle by which the fading of old age is always balanced by the new start of birth.

OGHAM The Celtic Oracle
by Peter Pracownik and Andy Baggott

The Elder is a veritable medicine chest with its bark, leaves, flowers and berries all being used in herbal medicine to treat many ailments including bruises, wounds, colds, hayfever, respiratory illness and fevers. Its berries are particularly potent and the Druids regarded any that remained on the tree in December as a gift from the Earth Goddess. These were gathered and made into a sacred wine which was drunk to aid clairvoyance. Its wood is said to protect against enchantment, negativity and lightining and whistles or flutes made from elder have a reputation for aiding fairy contact. In Ireland the witches’ broom had a shaft made of elder as opposed to the more traditional ash.

In the Celtic Tree Calendar Elder marks the darkest time of year and so is associated with death and the Crone aspect of the triple Goddess. Indeed, funerary flints have been found in megalithic long barrows in the shape of elder leaves and in others an elder leaf shaped portal has been carved out between two slabs of stone showing that its association with death goes back beyond the Celts into pre-history.  Ogham The Celtic Oracle by Peter Pracownick and Andy Baggott

Sun in Sagitarrius

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This past Sunday morning, the Sun changed signs from passionate, intense, all-or-nothing Scorpio to adventurous, optimistic, freedom-loving Sagittarius. The Sun will journey here until December 21st. For the next four weeks, we may feel a little more restless than usual. We are more aware of our sense of humor and our love for freedom. Our approach to life at this time tends to be direct and honest.

With Sun in Sag, the big picture captures everyone’s imagination. We celebrate social communion with others around us, and revel in higher mind activities such as teaching and philosophizing. The forthrightness of the Sagittarian is well-known and everyone partakes. You might also encounter the impulse within yourself toward taking a risk or traveling out of your normal sphere of perception as you explore the peaks of your ideation.

We may want to connect to people from all walks of life right now, just so we can learn about others. We tend to feel more optimistic during this time; this may get us into trouble if we go overboard and only take an idealistic point of view. Wanting to learn, explore and have fun gives us vitality and zest for life. What would open you up to a new adventure?

All this is especially true if you are a Leo or Sagittarius Sun-sign or Rising-sign. As a Sagittarius, you will feel a good dose of confidence and playfulness in the next four weeks; as a Leo, you are more adventurous and restless than usual…exploring something new might be just the thing for you to do.

Are you guys feeling this Sag energy yet?

Gemini Full Moon: The Others

Found this incredibly timely with what’s happening in our world, and in my own life.  I’ve had snake energy come to me in the past month, and being a Gemini, I feel a lot of this strongly!

(From MoonCircles)

hermanos jugando

Gemini Full Moon: The Others

Perhaps you have a friend with whom you are completely at odds in values and choices, or a sibling that vexes you by being the opposite of you in every way. Or a lover who turns left when you say go right. Yes, you’ve met the confounding, maddening Other, before…We all have. It can be fun to have differences. Or not!

Duality is inherent to Gemini – which means twins in Latin. I have a client who just had twins (Scorpios- double trouble!) enter her family. Twins get to spend their entire lives exploring the duality and similarity of their situation. Imagine the madness and the joy of it! Everyday a trip to a hall of mirrors…Is that me, we, or you? Is this true, or that?

The paradox is that it’s all true. Synthesizing opposites is Gemini’s realm. In myth, Mercury, Gemini’s God, was featured holding the physician’s caduceus, a rod with two intertwined snakes signifying the art of healing as the merging of opposites, the end of duality and separation. The snakes coil around the staff in a healing embrace. While that’s the endpoint, it’s not an automatic guarantee for the archetype. In reality, contrary perceptions of reality can heal and/or shatter us. The house of mirrors can turn into a hell realm where every reflection increases our confusion about what’s true or false, the sheer amount of data and dissimilar information threatening to topple us. To make it through with sanity intact we have to get very quiet and find center. We need to figure out how to pull together what’s fragmented and make it whole again.

Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces at this Full Moon. The global discussion revolves around refugees. There’s no one “stranger” than a displaced foreigner (Sagittarius), so different in appearance, language, heritage, custom and cultural background than we. Sagittarius is the archetype of the immigrant. With timekeeper Saturn in Sag, it’s time to solve this. The United States, where I live, was built for and by immigrants-so logically, we are they. On one hand, we are a country that embraces the freedom and happiness of all people; on the other, as a people we are intolerant, divisive and hypocritical. It’s one thing to say “I embrace differences” and apparently quite another thing to invite the Other into your home. This dichotomy extends beyond the refugee crisis, but we’re learning that when the happiness of the Other is undermined so is the happiness of All (Pisces). This is a longer discussion; the Saturn-Neptune square is a major theme of 2016.

Mercury triggers the Neptune-Saturn square at this Gemini Full Moon, highlighting our need to sort and filter out disinformation, and “dry out” any limiting beliefs and divisive thought patterns we’re holding. How can we find true information in a world where media spins just about everything? As Neptune in Pisces squares Saturn in Sagittarius, it’s like Toto pulling back the curtain on Oz — we’re seeing what lurks behind religion, ideology and belief systems. We are in a cycle of disillusionment.

In times of conflict and dis-ease, the ancients would’ve called on Mercury, the psychopomp who travels between realms of consciousness bearing messages from between-worlds. We can call on our own connection to Mercury. By strengthening our relationship to our dreamlife, the world of symbols, signs and omens, we strengthen the spiritual understanding that cuts through duality and allies us with unity. Serpents are aligned with the kundalini energy that travels from the root chakra of survival to the third eye/crown chakra, awakening our inner vision. We can call on serpent magic, asking to have messages of the infinite be energetically unlocked and made available to us. We can listen. Fruitful discussion always happens when we stop opining our beliefs, and start running the shared human experience through our listening hearts.

Curiosity is the heart and soul of Gemini Moon. Consider this curiosity: the Other already lives inside your heart. In the grander spiritual scheme, we know the Other’s experience because we’ve been them, or one day will be. We are they. We came from the same Cosmic womb, and will return. If you think this should be a no-brainer for the collective, take a hard look in the mirror: How easy is it for you to heal your relationship to the difficult Others’ in your life? All the more reason for us to be graceful, compassionate and curious around what emerges at this Full Moon.

Gemini Full Moon Update: 11/25

SummerMoon2_1500

This is a time for quiet celebration, acceptance of change, and making choices. If you have been ambivalent or in resistance around certain issues that require a choice, this would be a good time to finally make that choice. If you have been afraid to step out of your limited container, and you feel the pressure to do so, now would be a good time to at least make a choice and commitment to doing so.

This Full Moon comes with an energy that is inspirational for moving ahead, completing tasks and releasing old attachments. Even if you just take a few minutes and clean out a cabinet or drawer, it will make you feel like there is movement in your life.

Being around beauty will give your day a higher centered quality and as we North Americans are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, a good dose of gratitude will help balance the negativity, pressure and confusion you may have been feeling of late. This is a good time for gathering support around a project or idea whose time has come.

 

Gemini Full Moon
Sun in Sagittarius ~ Moon in Gemini 3º
Wednesday, November 25, 5:44 PM Eastern Time

The Sun has just moved into Sagittarius, so the Moon is Full in an early degree of Gemini ~ a mutable air/fire combination.  The centaur archer icon of Sagittarius shoots his arrow skyward expanding his horizon and initiating his quest for adventure and true knowledge.  Instinct and intuition are wed.  Here we have the perpetual learner, restless traveler, and wise philosopher searching for the truth and seeking to expand consciousness to find the meaning of life.  Jupiter is Sagittarius’ ruler lending its expansive, positive attitude.  Life is a quest for truth, meaning and purpose for Sagittarius.  Look to your purpose, your true quest, your inspiration at this Full Moon.  You’ve been gathering information and experiences for a lifetime (Gemini); now, take a moment to reflect on which gods you have chosen to give meaning and purpose to your journey (Sagittarius).  As a fire sign, Sagittarius uses faith and optimism as his most powerful tools to create a meaningful life.

Saturn, the Lord of Karma, has recently entered Sagittarius for the next few years and is traveling with the Sun now and opposing the Full Moon.  Mercury is there too.  So it’s Sun, Saturn, Mercury joining together to reflect the lessons of this Moon.  Our lessons may come through communication or travel or our sibling relationships with Mercury involved.  We may become highly aware of how our long held belief systems limit our reason and rational minds. With Saturn in play, our freedom may be curtailed in some way as Sag values freedom highly.

But most importantly, Neptune is squaring the Full Moon and the Sun, Saturn, Mercury trio forming a T-Square.  Saturn in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces will be one of the major configurations for 2016 with exact squares now on Nov. 26 ‘15, then June 18 ’16, and Sept. 10.  Saturn has a sobering and dampening effect on the sign it inhabits for two and a half years.  Skepticism rules.  But the gifts are discipline and focus.  Neptune in its own sign contributes potent idealism.  It brings faith that the power of compassion and imagination will prevail in the bigger picture.  You may feel the palpable tension of daily, physical limitations and the exalted beauty and blessings of life created by this Saturn/Neptune square.

Looking towards the gifts, the Gemini Moon is in a Grand Trine in air signs with Mars (our desires, passion, and courage to act) and Ceres (our nourishing, procreative, and builder of self-worth).  The Gemini Moon occupying both the more tension filled T-Square and the easeful Grand Trine is that neutral mediating force that versatile Gemini does so well.  There may be just enough punch to get us moving on some quest that we have long wanted to embark upon~ maybe a health regime, revamping your home to make it your own for this part of your life, undertaking a pilgrimage to discover who you are now, getting to that writing or publishing project….  There’s no end to the horizons where Gemini/Sagittarius can seek meaning and adventure although, areas of teaching, learning, foreign influences, and legal issues are favored.

 

Pathway to Ascension: Sagittarius

As the sun enters a new sign tomorrow, we look at what those people born under the Sag sign are evolving into…

Sagittarius-Tattoo-Design-Idea.jpg

“The person who is Sagittarius incarnated to search for wisdom. Sagittarius asks: “What is my purpose in life?” He is goal-oriented, continually moving from the completion of one objective to an even higher one.

On the personality level, Sagittarius is controlled by his own desires and passions. At this level, Sagittarius attempts to control the persons and events within his environment, rather than learning to control his own lower self. He tends to project blame onto others, to procrastinate, and to lack tactfulness. Though his impulsive words can be painful, Sagittarius seldom means to hurt others and can be shocked to find he has done so.

As Sagittarius awakens to the spiritual perspective, he strives to develop self-discipline and to channel his abundant energy into fulfilling his soul purpose. Sagittarius is versatile, optimistic, friendly, and daring. He does well in vocations that involve risk-taking, travel, and sales. Sagittarius needs to be free to roam the planet and to contemplate the meaning of life. Sagittarius is a fortunate energy; life is usually filled with adventure and abundant living. He has an innate understanding of people. Education and communicating what he knows are a major part of Sagittarius’ journey. He is playful and spontaneous.

A Sagittarius incarnation marks the final stages of the transformative purification process. Often a hip injury will mark the beginning of this self-transformation. Sagittarius is to become the One-pointed Disciple symbolized by the Knight riding his horse. The Knight’s arrow signifies a shaft of light released from his Higher Mind to be used to enlighten others. At the soul-centered level, Sagittarius becomes the minister, teacher, and healer of humanity. He is a true visionary and inspiring prophet.

Sagittarius At-A-Glance

From SageGoddess

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Sagittarius Cycle: November 22 – December 21
Color: Deep Purple
Traditional Gemstones: Topaz, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite, Citrine
Non-traditional Gemstones: Pink Tourmaline, Amber, Labradorite
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Associated Deities: Chiron, Nimrod, Nergal

Sagittarius, the mutable fire sign of the zodiac, is optimistic and charismatic. While they are often popular in social circles, they are inherently independent and don’t want to feel tied down. Ultimately their desire for a life of adventure is top priority. This is the sign who you’ll find traveling the world, eager to soak up as much knowledge and culture they can find.

Sagittarians are born scholars, with a quick wit and a passion for philosophy. Blessed with good fortune and intellect, they are free to boldly pursue their passions. Positivity and vitality rule the archer, but their fear of boredom can leave them restless and detached. Not wanting emotions to to hold them back, this freedom-loving sign is not exactly quick to commit in relationships. At work, Sagittarians are prone to procrastination, but they thrive under pressure with their do-or-die mentality. These traits make Sag the ideal entertainer, journalist or philosopher.

The Best Form Of Stress Relief Based On Your Zodiac Sign

found this interesting, from higherperspectives.com – do you find these to be true for your sign?

Aries

Rams are busy people, often trying to live life to the fullest. Often times, you’re so energetic that you blow right through the week and don’t enjoy the little things. When you’re stressed out, take a day off. Go out and enjoy nature. Pamper yourself a little. Just slow down.

Taurus

Taurus are hard workers that take failure very personally. Recognize that everyone fails from time to time and that it doesn’t signify incompetence. When you’re stressed out, go easier on yourself. Take a break from work. Meditate. Spend some time considering your options.

Gemini

Geminis are complex people. They love a good conversation and enjoy having fun. When sedentary, stress builds up for you. If you’re feeling that your stress is hard to manage, find a way to burn off your extra energy. Take up weight lifting or swimming. Go for a long hike.

Cancer

Cancers find comfort in security, and often times, stress comes from feeling insecure. As a Cancer myself, meditating has always been important for my personal stress relief. It’s been important for me to consider too that I’m not always in charge of my destiny, which can be terrifying. There’s something reassuring about knowing that no one else really is either.

Leo

Leo takes it a step further than Cancer and tries to simply control everything, but this is a rather unrealistic and, in the end, unfair approach. Leos, so fiery, want to be the leaders of the world. A great deal of stress can come from losses and feeling out of control. Take a moment, take a deep breath, and cede control, even for just a little while.

Virgo

Virgo and Gemini are in many ways like siblings among the zodiac signs. You’re logical, but you can be too hard on yourself. You like knowing you can solve a problem, but when a problem doesn’t have a clear resolution, it weighs on you, right? In moments like these, when the stress is building, write down your thoughts and ideas. Talk to other people about them. Take a few days, then come back to it.

Libra

Libra is the most easily stressed of the bunch. Conflict is a sign of imbalance to you and if there’s no harmony, stress is sure to follow. Deal with this stress by reaffirming your commitment to peace and making it well known that you will not participate in any situation that ends up out of control.

Scorpio

Scorpio is sensitive but keeps their emotions hidden. Your need for privacy can cause emotions to build up. To keep stress from creeping in, express how you feel. Let people have it if they deserve it. Just don’t bottle it all up.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius likes being busy but hates being bossed around. You’re the most impulsive of the bunch. You tend to be impatient and stress starts to build when you don’t see the fruits of your labor. Take a deep breath and understand that you’re not going to always get that instant gratification. Meditation helps.

Capricorn

Capricorns, like Virgos, can be hard on themselves. When stressed out, the most important thing you can do is chill out. Take a little trip. Go to the spa. Find a hot tub and sit in it. Eat a favorite food. Just relax.

Aquarius

Aquarius is witty and adventurous, often leaping before looking. You have a tendency to be detached from the world and you can be stubborn and unwilling to listen. Remember, life isn’t always going to go your way. If that’s what stresses you out, the best stress reliever is a reality check.

Pisces

Pisces are a creative, sensitive, sometimes isolated bunch. You don’t like the limelight and when you’re the most exposed, you’re also the most stressed. Remember to take time for yourself. Shut yourself inside sometimes. Recharge your batteries.

plant power

“The realm of plants provides everything our body needs for a balanced and integrated existence. However, we are more than just a body; we also have consciousness, which brings other factors onto the stage. We not only have to take our animal body into consideration, but also our mind, our emotions and our spiritual nature. Harmony is no longer simply a matter of right diet or even right herbs, but also a matter of right feelings, right thoughts, lifestyle, actions, attunement – harmony of right relationship to our world…”

David Hoffman

Synchronicity…

“It was Carl Jung’s term for the coincidences that go so far beyond the ordinary flow of events that both instinct and common sense demand we pay attention to them. They are circumstances that reveal the deepest, and often most hidden, truths about ourselves and, perhaps, reality. The reasons for certain kinds of coincidences are not found in normal notions of cause and effect, but in an entirely different realm of being where other laws of nature rule. And, in that realm, according to Jung, we are the causes of these amazing events, the source of the mysteries is deep within our psyches, our souls.”

The Love Spell

a reminder…

“The world’s full of magic. Other religions call it a miracle, some people call it positive visualization, scientists call it quantum reality. But it can slip right past you if you’re not paying attention. Really, that’s what a witch is – someone’s who’s paying attention to those manifestations. And someone who’s learned how to work with the energy, for good.

A spell’s a lot like a prayer. Except instead of asking a male divinity to do something for you that you can’t do yourself, a spell draws upon your own inner, divine gifts. It’s a way of giving that gift shape or form in the world. 

The only person you can control with a spell is yourself. You can never cast a spell on someone else. You can do a healing spell, or something helpful, but only if someone asks you to.”