Sagittarius New Moon – December 20
Not only is the Sun and Moon in fiery Sagittarius but Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto were there as well! Sagittarius is the sign of the gypsy, the philosopher, and the pilgrim. Sadges may not know the meaning of life but they know there is a meaning and they are on a quest to find it. The shadow part of Sagittarius is overextension, exaggeration, and impulsive behavior. With so much fire there is an urge to break free of our existing circumstances but with Pluto, god of the underworld, involved there is something from the past that we need to bring to the surface and heal in order to move forward. Pluto, the planet and god of transformation, is always about making the unconscious, conscious. Once again we must look deep inside to find what is blocking us. Remember, we can’t change something we are not aware of; Pluto makes us aware.
The New Moon takes place at 28 degrees of Sagittarius, the very end of the sign, with Pluto close by at 26 degrees. They are aligned with the Galactic Center – the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. What that means is we are poised for an evolutionary leap. The rules are changing; there are no rules, we are making it up as we go along. This a time of major
endings and beginnings; old structures are crumbling, beliefs are being challenged, and lives are shifting. It is a scary time but also a healing time. Anything is possible if we have the courage to live our truth. I was sitting in a café recently and a song (by R.E.M) came on the radio that seems to sum it up perfectly.
“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”
Hanukkah began on December 15th and continues until December 23rd: Hanukkah, originally known as “The Festival of Lights,” commemorates a miracle that occurred in 165 B. C. when Judas Maccabaeus and his followers reclaimed Jerusalem. After three years the Maccabees were finally able to reclaim their faith and rededicate the temple. (The word Hanukkah means dedication.) As part of their ceremony, they began an eight day purification rite only to discover there was not enough oil for the temple menorah. Miraculously the temple menorah burned for eight days. Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting the menorah on each of the nights.
December 23rd is the Celtic Day of Mistletoe, a “day out of time,” between the old and the new.
In the old traditions, Christmas, December 25th, ancient “Birthday of the Invincible Sun” was the time for receiving spiritual gifts while Epiphany was the day for exchanging physical gifts - the day the Magi came bearing gifts for the Christ child.
The Twelve Days of Christmas begins on December 26 and ends on the Epiphany - January 6th. Each of the twelve days that follows Christmas corresponds to a sign of the zodiac beginning with Aries on the December 26th followed by Taurus on the 27th, and so on, ending on the Epiphany on January 6th. The coming year can be foreseen by observing the conditions on each of these 12 days. Pay attention to dreams, omens and signs during these days for this is the year in embryo. The word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek, meaning to manifest. In old England it was said of Epiphany, “On the charms of this night will the harvest depend.” What do you want to bring into manifestation? There is no better time to pray for your own epiphany! These 12 days are a kind of preparation and an opportunity to set the tone for the coming year.
“In Old Britain celebrants kept the Yule fire burning through the twelve nights of the season. Wishes were made while touching the fire with sticks. The old year as released as cedar boughs burned.” New World cycle of Celebrations
Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and continues thru January 1st: Kwanzaa (Swahili for “first”) is the festival of unity and thanksgiving. It was conceived and developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga (professor and chair of the Department of Black Studies at California State University in Long Beach) in 1966 in the midst of the Black Freedom Movement. It is an African-American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture and speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human.
New Year’s Eve is the traditional wishing night when we let go of our old ways and the new ones are conceived.
New Year’s Day is the day Arthur first drew the sword from the stone to reveal the spirit of the new cycle. All over the world people perform rituals to bring about good fortune for the year ahead. In Scotland, people watch the threshold to see what the first visitor augers for the year. In many regions of the world people eat black-eyes peas for luck. The Dutch believe eating donuts is a lucky. Cabbage is said to create prosperity since the leaves resemble paper money. Create your own rituals and traditions for this day. Remember, what begins well, ends well.
“Wear a dime in each shoe on New Year’s Day and you will have money all year.”
Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar2004
January 1st is the Festival of Ceres, goddess of the harvest and mother of Persephone. The asteroid Ceres was discovered on January 1, 1901. Recently Ceres has been elevated to planetary status; that is itself is cause to celebrate.
Cancer Full Moon – January 3, 2007
Called the Snow Goose Moon, Cold Moon, and Wolf Moon
“The Cherokee call this the Snow Goose Full Moon and it is considered a time of creative expression, expansion of consciousness, and tangible blessings to those aligned with its energy.”
Look out on the night of January 3rd and you will see a frosty winter Moon glowing in a blue-black sky. The Sun in wintry Capricorn challenges us to think clearly and cautiously; the Moon in Cancer is nurturing and compassionate, a reminder that if we want to achieve success in the outer world we must first do our inner work. How are we nurturing ourselves, what do we need? This Full Moon asks us to find a balance between the outer and inner.
Mental Mercury is conjunct (fused with) the Sun; our minds are powerful now. What you can imagine you can also manifest. “Almost anything of lasting value that has ever been created by human kind started out as an idea in someone’s mind long before there was any evidence to prove it could exist.”-Philip Lynn
Mars and Pluto are approaching a conjunct in bossy Sagittarius; it will be exact on January 13th. Mars (the ancient ruler of Scorpio) represents conscious power; Pluto (Scorpio’s current ruler) is associated with hidden power. This combination in fiery Sagittarius can bring up old fears, resentments, and power struggles but it can also show us where we are stuck and help us to break through – if we are conscious. Remember, you use the energy or the energy uses you.
Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, is retrograde in the sign of Leo until April 19th. Saturn, lord of karma, lord of winter, rules time and form, reality and responsibility. Where Saturn is currently transiting is where we need to reassess and realign. Saturn challenges us to live our highest truth and reminds us that what is difficult can also be nurturing.