The coming Mercury cycle

2/10 we enter the pre-shadow of Mercury retrograde.
3/5 Mercury goes retrograde for 3 weeks.
4/17 Mercury leaves the wake.

All of this will happen in Pisces.

“Wait!” I hear people exclaiming, “What’s all this extra stuff? I thought Mercury was just retrograde for 3 weeks at a time!”

Yes, and… It’s a cycle, not linear. When any planet goes retrograde, it actually goes through the same span of the zodiac three times: forward, then backwards, then forwards again. Evolving Door says “The station of any planet is a time of intensified energy. The planet has stopped moving along the zodiacal path and seems to hover for up to several days before it resumes movement in the opposite direction. A planet’s motion is slow enough before and after the station that its effects can be felt” for that whole cycle.

Don’t panic. No, really, I mean it. Mercury Retrograde is not the big demon everyone says it is. (go read the link for basic MRx strategies)

Because the whole shebang happens in Pisces, this is going to be more feel-y than think-y. Or, rather, because Mercury rules thoughts and communication (and things involved in that), you’re going to be thinking with your feelings and about your feelings. Which basically means processing. So, get prepared by making a list of all the things you think you’re still carrying around – all your old wounds, that childhood stuff, your last three partners… What haven’t you processed yet? Because this is a Mercury thing, if you come at it from an organized starting point, it’s going to be easier. You really don’t have to be broadsided by this. Mercury retrograde will always go better for you if you do the work consciously.

I’m currently available for private online sessions, if you need a more personalized game plan. Drop me a note from my contact page.

Posted in Astrology, Mercury Retrograde, Personal growth, Practice, Shamanism

Aquarius New Moon and Lunar New Year

Monday, February 4, at 1:04pm Pacific, is the New Moon. And, as I said in my last post, this week is a cross-quarter observance. It also marks the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, as we move into the Year of the Earth Pig. In Brazil, this weekend marks Fiesta de Iemanjá, Candomblé and Umbanda goddess of the sea. In the Hindu faith, February 5th this year is Kumbh Mela, which draws tens of millions of pilgrims to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Sarasvati, in recognition of the sacred pitcher of elixir of immortality.

The Spring Festival is a time of change and new beginnings. Practically every activity during the Spring Festival has the purpose of removing the old and welcoming the new. In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. An Earth Pig comes once in a 60-year cycle.

From a Shamanic point of view, this Aquarius New Moon is about Activation. Keep moving forward and don’t let yourself get stuck in imagined slights, the past, or the rumblings in your head. We are being offered an opportunity to create ourselves anew, leveling up, as it were, and that can create some discomfort. Staying in action will help relieve the internal pressure. Setting your intention for the coming cycle at the New Moon is important; remember that the energy of a New Moon is in effect about 36 hours before and 36 hours after the exact time. Simone Butler has a good ritual for both the New Moon ans the Lunar New Year here.

My final seasonal offering is on the history of Groundhog Day, via Snapodragonsoda on Tumblr:

So Groundhog Day was brought to the Americas by European immigrants – mostly from around the area of Germany. It originated from the, now mostly ignored, holiday Candlemas. (Brief Candlemas interlude: I don’t know much about it, but I guess it’s about pruification (sic) or presenting baby Jesus to the world? But maybe just kinda set in February to try and overshadow Naughty Pagan or Roman fertility holidays?)

There was a general superstition that the weather on this day was a predictor of the upcoming weather. So the basic saying was that a clear Candleas meant more upcoming cold weather, while a cloudy Candlemas meant it would warm up sooner.

This kinda morphed together with the idea that animals are more in tune with nature and that wether can be predicted by observing their actions. So the saying became roughly: if burrowing animal notices clear weather on Candlemas, then it will go back to bed because more winter is coming.

So depending on your source, there are all sorts of different burrowing or hibernating animals that these German-speaking groups watched. Most common is the badger, but you’ll find sources that say hedgehogs or foxes sometimes.

But hedgehogs Aren’t Native to North America and American badgers are more common in the western states, not the eastern areas where these immigrants originally settled. But you know what large rodent WAS native to that area? Thst’s right it’s the groundhog!

So years go by, we’re not really celebrating Candlemas so much but this watching groundhogs to get an idea of the weather thing is still around. (Kinda like another popular American folk concept that the bands of Wooly Worms in autumn will predict the intensity of the upcoming winter. Why didn’t the Wooly Worms get their own Day?)

Now… at some point a group in Pennsylvania just decided to REALLY play this up for fun and publicity, and that’s how we get the real Holiday of Groundhog Day. A lot of people don’t know this because they don’t care, but if you try to look into the “Official Punxsutawney Phill” stuff, they claim that like, that groundhog is Hundreds of Years Old; has Literally Magical weather predicting powers; and that their secrect society can actually Speak Groundhog Language.

Basically, a town invented a cryptid for Fun and Profit.

And other towns copied it, they named their own groundhogs (or other animals). It’s all just a fun bit of folklore that we’ve made a Day of.

Season’s Blessings!

PS. If you’re interested in Candlemas, I recommend seeing what the Jesuits have to say about it.

Posted in empowerment, Goddess, Moon, Personal growth, Practice, Ritual, Seasons, Shamanism, Spring, Winter

The Cross Quarter in the beginning of February

St Brigid, Brid, Maman Brigitte. Briosaghit

The beginning of February (2/4 this year) is one of the cross-quarters (the midpoint between a solstice and equinox) of the year. The two in May and November mark the thinning of the veil; some people know them as Beltaine (or May Day) and Samhain (or Halloween, or Dio De los Muertos, or All Saints Day…). The ones in February (Imbolc, Candlemas) and August (Lughnasadh, Lammas) offer us the opportunity to get more present and aware of what we have in the here and now. That by no stretch of the imagination means that your intuition will fall away. In fact, I find that the more present I get, the more accurate my intuition becomes, because it’s less subject to my filters. You see, when I am present and in the moment, my negative ego is not my main operating system, which means my filters, aka all the garbage the noise in my head creates, aren’t in operation.

February is a great time to look at what tools you have, internal and external, that improve your life and help you grow. What are your skill sets? What’s in your emotional and spiritual tool box? What pieces of technology do you use to help you be more mindful, more efficient, more conscious?

This was originally part of the February Newsletter. I have added a few things here and there.

Posted in Abundance, empowerment, Environment, Faery, Personal growth, Practice, Seasons, Shamanism, Winter

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