Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Blue Moon Eclipse New Year!

Today at 12:13 pm Mountain Standard Time, the moon was at it's fullest, and all the way around the world in the darkness of night, it was eclipsed over much of Europe, Africa and Asia. Of course, today is also New Year's Eve, and the occurrence of a full moon on New Year's Eve hasn't happened since 1990. According to, an eclipsed Blue Moon on New Year's happens only once every 91 years! So this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence!

So to recap, we have Mercury (and Mars) in Retrograde right now, adding to the energies of the Full Moon, which is falling on the global holiday of New Year's Eve, which is wrapping up the '00 decade, and then all of those factors are being amplified by the power of an extremely rare eclipse. Wow!

We know that Mercury is Retrograde in Capricorn, and this full moon is in its natural home of Cancer. The sign of Cancer is one of emotional lability, mood swings and loopy, fun hysteria. It's also the sign of the Mother, of nurturing and care and concern. Cancer is also one of the most and empathetic signs of the Zodiac, being of the Water elemental. In fact all of the Water signs, including Pisces and Scorpio will feel the effects of this moon more than others. If you are of a different solar sign but have significant water in your chart, you may also feel this one more.

Eclipses are strong generators of energy and lunar ones in particular tend to affect our emotional side much more than solar eclipses, and with this eclipse in tender, emotional Cancer, this effect will be much more pronounced. Eclipses are like a spotlight, shining into our psyches and illuminating our shadow so that we can see what needs to be released. They are also generally seen as transformational events, marking the end of one phase and the beginning of the next. Since this eclipse is at the New Year, the transformational power will be very much intensified. You can expect a lot more emotion to be on display tonight than usual, and it will run the gamut from anger to delirium to relief.

Tonight and for the next two days, until we leave the influence of the full moon's three day shadow, we have a unique and rare opportunity to harness these powerful forces to make changes in our lives. This year, don't just sit down and make a list of New Year's resolutions. This is the time to go deeper, to look inside ourselves and be truly honest about what we need in our lives to make us happy. We can call upon the Divine Feminine, the Great Goddess to walk with us through the next year and help us through the sometimes painful process of transformation.

One of the most powerful Goddesses celebrated on this day is the Yoruban deity Yemaja (pronounced yeh-mah-ZHA and also called Yemaya or Yemoja) the Star of the Sea. Millions of people will go to the ocean tonight to give offerings to her and ask for her help. With all of the watery elements present in the energies today, she is the perfect goddess to help us through this time.

The ritual herbal bath is a central component of Yoruban and Santeria worship, so it is perfectly appropriate for a night like tonight. If you have never done a ritual bath, tonight would be a great time to learn how to do one. If you cannot do it tonight, any time within the next 48 hours will be just as powerful.

You can also craft an altar to Her, with blue and white candles and any of her symbols such as six-pointed stars, moons, seashells, photos or images of marine animals, particularly dolphins or sea turtles. You can also add other things with blue and white or silver colors such as pretty jewelry, stones, crystals, or other small trinkets you may have around your home.

To be said during a purification bath.

Oh Great and beautiful Yemaya,
Mother of the Seven Seas, Mother of all Orishas.

I call on you to bless this water and make it holy
so that I may be blessed and made holy.

Oh Most Holy Mother, hear my concerns.
I ask that you wash away my problems with
the essence of the most pure water.

Thank you, Most Holy Mother, for taking
my concerns and washing them away.

Iyá eyá ayaba okun omá iré gbogbo awani Iyá

(eye-yah ee-yah aye-ah-bah oh-koon oh-mah ee-ray zuh-bozh-bo ah-wan-ee eye-yah)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Year Spell

In preparation for our upcoming Year Spell Mooncraft on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010 - we thought that it would be good to repeat some thoughts and advice that we have collected from prior years, with a few new things added in for this year. Our Year Spell is the one MoonCraft which is held every year on the full moon closest to the beginning of January. You can get more info, including the address to the Temple on our Facebook page. (Have you fanned us on Facebook yet? Because why not? You should do it now!)

What exactly is a Year Spell?
In the tradition of Sacred Circle, what we call a year spell is something that is known by many names. A treasure map is the most common name, but sometimes it can be called a wishing picture, or a dream collage. A Year Spell is basically a visual collage which contains images, words and ideas that you wish to come true within the year.

So, how does it work?
The basic technique is that within a set time frame, you look through magazines, catalogs and other paper items such as journals or newspapers, and cut out things which grab your attention and which you think best represent your goals and dreams for the year. You then paste these items onto a collage and then hang it in your home where you can see it on a daily basis. There are a lot of articles and self-help books that promote different ways to do this. Our tradition is a little specific in the way that the year spell is created, which is what makes it such a powerful ritual!

Our year spell differs from many of these other techniques in a few important ways which you should know about. Firstly, our year spell has a time limit on it. It is crafted specifically for the year in which it is created, and the goals and images captured on it are visualized to happen within that time frame. Now this does NOT mean that if you put something on the year spell that does not come true within the year, that it will never happen! You may have to add some goals year after year until they finally manifest. However, keeping your goals firmly in mind will definitely help with the manifestation process! Coming back to your goals and dreams on a yearly basis can also be a great way to check in on yourself and your own personal progress.

Second, we highly recommend that you bring a photo of yourself to cut out and attach to your year spell! Some websites and books say that this is not as necessary, but we have found that putting your own image into the representation of your goals and dreams is a very strong bit of magic (and there's also some other magic to do with this part that is given out only through oral tradition!) Couples can craft independent spells, or if married or committed to one another, can craft a joint spell. Families can craft one spell for their family group. Children are encouraged to think about their own hopes and dreams, and very often become immersed in the creative process of cutting and pasting images for their own collages. You may also wish to consider what the content of the photos that you bring to the spell are, since you are setting the tone for your year, and should probably choose a recent photo where your emotional state is one of peace, happiness or contentment. If you don't want to cut up a favorite photo, you may wish to consider a simple color photocopy of it as an inexpensive alternative.

Finally, doing such a ritual with the support of a group and being able to access the shared energy, power and intention of the group makes for a very strong vibratory message that is sent to the universe. Petitions are always more powerful when they have more signatures, right? Well this is the same principle. More energy + more intention + more voices = more powerful manifestations. This is "the secret" behind coven and closed-group workings, only this time, there is no initiation required.

What do I need for a Year Spell?
As mentioned above, one of the most important items is a recent photograph of yourself, your family or you and your children. Besides this, you will want to bring your own pair of scissors, and it may sound strange, but if you have any magazines laying around your house, bring a few along. We have found that if your goals are in specific areas, you probably have some representations of these goals in magazine, journal or catalog form. For instance, if one of your dreams is to travel to a tropical paradise on vacation, you may already have purchased an "Islands" magazine or something similar, just on a whim. Or if you are interested, for instance, in buying new equipment for your photography hobby, it's common to have one or more gear catalogs handy. These items can make it much easier to represent your goals and dreams in pictorial format. Glue sticks and 12" x 12" cardstock will be provided. If you would like to, you may also bring a snack or beverage to share during this very social ritual.

Please plan for at least a three hour or longer ritual. This event often goes much longer than our average MoonCraft event, so we advise that you don't plan on rushing off somewhere else until well after 7 pm. Good magick takes time to craft, so give yourself enough time to finish your year spell completely.

What about bringing children? Children are welcome to come to this circle! We do try to provide some entertainment in the form of DVD's to watch or coloring pages for the younger set, but you will need to watch after your children, as we do not provide babysitting . If you feel that a multi-hour event in a confined space would be too much for your younger kids to handle, you might want to consider a babysitter or caretaker so that you can focus and enjoy the circle more. That being said, most children enjoy the cutting and pasting of the collage and can be encouraged to set goals for themselves on their year spells. If you want your child to create a year spell, you may want to remember to bring a photo of them that they can put on their own collage.

Here's a question we've been hearing a lot about this year's event - "Why did you change this MoonCraft to a Saturday instead of having it on a Sunday like normal?" The answer is simple. Because the Full Moon falls directly on New Year's Eve (it's at 12:13 pm on Thursday, Dec. 31st) holding our event on Sunday would put the Year Spell MoonCraft outside of that powerful three-day window around the full moon. Holding it on Saturday puts us just over 48 hours after the full moon, allowing us to take advantage of that wonderful full moon energy.

New advice for this year - bring a chair! We've been growing so quickly that we are often short of chairs. We plan to buy some more soon, but we may not have enough on hand just yet, so if you have a favorite folding chair, you might want to bring it along.

By way of mental preparation, if you have done a year spell in the past, please spend some time with it, see what came true, what did not, and what you'd like to carry over into the new year. If you haven't ever done a year spell before, do a mental review of your year behind, and then look ahead a little and see what you might want to manifest in the coming months.