Why Ancient Greek Art Still Matters: A Comprehensive Study of Paganism in Art

. Many aspects of ancient Greek art are still evident in modern media, including statues of gods, goddesses, and even some of the minor deities that we never hear about today. There’s a reason why there’s still so much interest in these images after thousands of years: there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Everything You Need to Know About the Buck Moon

Everything You Need to Know About the Super Buck Moon

July’s full moon is most widely known as the Buck Moon. The indigenous peoples of the Algonquin tribe named July’s full moon the Buck Moon due to the fact that the antlers of male deer (called bucks) are fully grown by this time of the year. As with all full moons throughout the year, the Buck Moon is known by many other names as well. The Cree called July’s moon the Feather Moulting Moon and the Salmon Moon. The Anishinaabe people called it the Berry Moon, while the Dakota named it Moon When The Chokeberries Are Ripe. It was called Month of the Ripe Corn Moon by the Cherokee, and the Raspberry Moon by the Ojibwe.

Aside from being a regular, beautiful full moon as it is every year, 2022’s Full Buck Moon will also be a Supermoon. A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to the Earth at the exact same time that it is full. You can see this year’s Super Buck Moon on July 13th. 

Symbolism of the Buck Moon

July’s Full Buck Moon is a symbol of fertility. When a buck loses the layer of velvet on its antlers, it has reached maturity and it’s time to mate. By July, the buck’s rack has grown almost to full maturity, and in the next couple of months, will begin to grow points and fully shed its velvet. Mating season will begin soon after.

This month, we channel the masculine energy of the buck to bring ambition and strength into our lives and spellcraft.

Now is not the time to procrastinate. Channel this energy to fuel your intentions, strengthen your manifestations, and achieve your goals. and intentions. Try to stay as focused as possible. Consider what modest ambitions you can let go of in order to prioritize and focus on your larger goals. What smaller goals can you convince yourself to let go, in order to focus on accomplishing larger goals that are more important to your personal growth?

Other spiritual meanings of the Full Buck Moon include self-reflection, abundance, leadership, vigor, strength, passion, honesty, and dream work.

Celebrate this year’s Super Buck Moon by decking yourself and your altar out in shades of gold, blue, gray, and green.

How To Celebrate The Buck Moon

As July’s moon symbolizes self-reflection, a great way to celebrate and honor the Buck Moon is by doing some journaling. If you’re like me and can never quite think of a topic to write about off the top of your head, I’ve provided some journaling prompts to get you started.

What achievements have you had recently? Congratulate yourself on them! Make a list of all of your accomplishments over the past year and take pride in all of the hard work you’ve put in.

Are there any places in your local community that you feel a particular spiritual connection to? Go there. Take a walk through that beautiful piece of nature and then come home and write all about it. What is it that connects you to that place?

How does July’s Super Buck Moon make you feel? How will you celebrate it?

What movie would you like to watch, or book would you like to read before the end of 2022? Why do you want to watch that movie or read that book? 

A Full Buck Moon Ritual

We’re nearing the end of the summer now, and the cold winter months are looming. This ritual will help you store those sunny, positive feelings and energies we get throughout the warm part of the year, so that you may carry them into the cold months ahead.

What you’ll need:

  • One gold candle (white or yellow will work as well if you don’t happen to have a gold one).
  • Your journal or grimoire.
  • A gold pen, colored pencil, or paint and paintbrush.
  1. Cast your circle and invite your deities/spirits/elementals into your ritual. 
  2. Set your intention by journaling about it. Tell your journal how the beautiful summer sun makes you feel. What power and live-giving strength it gives you. Think about all the things that make you feel sunny, light, and happy. Write about them or paint/draw them in your journal.
  3. Hold your journal in your hand open to the page you’ve just written and say: “I call upon the Buck Moon’s power. I call upon the strength and fullness of his antlers. I call upon the antlered forest king and ask him to grant me sustenance and strength. As I will it, so mote it be.”
  4. Take a seat somewhere comfortable and ruminate over these simple joys you’ve written or drawn about. Feel those joys lighten your spirit while the sun’s power gives you strength. Take your gold marker, pen, paint, or colored pencil and write the following words in your journal alongside your list or other drawings, “The summer is golden. The sun is golden. I am golden. I am one with the golden light of summer.”
  5. Repeat these words aloud and then sit in silence for a few moments. Close your eyes and visualize yourself as a mighty buck, your beautiful, strong antlers backlit against the gorgeous Buck Moon. You are the king of the forest. You carry that strength within you. 
  6. When you’re done meditating, add this page to your grimoire, place it on your altar, or even tack it up on the wall somewhere you can see it often.
  7. Close your circle and thank your deities/elementals/spirits for joining you in your ritual.
What is the Summer Solsticee

What is the Summer Solstice?

This year, the summer solstice falls on June 21, 2022. It’s a common misconception that the summer solstice falls on the same day each year, but the truth is that the solstice falls on the day in which the sun reaches its highest point from the celestial equator. This can happen anywhere from June 20th to June 22nd. But what, exactly is the summer solstice? Well, we’re glad you asked!

There are two solstices in our yearly calendar, as well as two equinoxes. The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere lands between June 20th to the 22nd, while the winter solstice will be anywhere between December 20th to the 23rd. While we’re experiencing a solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing the other one. So when it’s the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere will be experiencing the winter solstice on the exact same date, and vice versa. 

The solstices are the dates during which the Earth’s axes are tilted closest and furthest from the sun. So when the axis is tilted closest to the sun, the summer solstice happens in the Northern Hemisphere, and we see our longest day of the year. Likewise, during the winter solstice, we see our longest night.

The Summer Solstice Throughout History

The summer solstice has been celebrated around the world for millennia. Stonehenge in England, for example, is believed to have been a site of summer solstice rituals. In fact, the Heel Stone of the monolith, a stone that stands outside the main circle of Stonehenge, aligns perfectly with the rising sun on the morning of the solstice.

The pyramids of Khufu and Khafre at Giza in Egypt are two other structures that archaeologists believe were built with the solstice in mind. When standing at the foot of the Sphinx, the sun on the night of the summer solstice sets directly between the two pyramids of the great pharaohs.

In Ancient Greece, the summer solstice denoted exactly one month from the kickoff of the Olympic Games, and it marked the start of their new year. Ancient Romans celebrated the summer solstice with their festival to the goddess of hearth and home, Vesta, called Vestalia.

The summer solstice was celebrated as Midsummer in many central and northern European religions, where participants would light bonfires because they believed it would help magnify the sun’s energy, and thus give them a bountiful harvest that fall. It was also widely believed that evil spirits crossed the threshold between the spirit realm and that of the living during the summer solstice and that bonfires could ward them off.

Modern Summer Solstice Celebrations

Celebrations of the summer solstice are still alive and well in our modern world. Some have to do with religion, while others are simply celebrating the longer days. In Fairbanks, Alaska, the town comes together every year to celebrate their 22.5 hours of sunlight with the Midnight Sun Game, where they play a game of baseball starting at 10:30 p.m. Anchorage, Alaska also gets in on the fun and games for their day of 22 hours of sunlight with their Solstice Festival and Hero Games. First responders compete in games like tug of war, obstacle courses, donut-eating competitions, and tower climbs, while the city’s artists and musicians rev up downtown for a massive party.

Ottawa, Ontario holds its Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival for three days surrounding the solstice. Famed indigenous chefs offer incredible food, while the best Pow Wow dancers in the country amaze onlookers with their incredibly moving dances and gorgeous traditional costumes.

In Sweden, there are May Pole dances and the creation of traditional crowns of flowers. Reykjavik, Iceland holds its Secret Solstice Festival, where local and non-local musicians light up the city, and parties are held in caves and glaciers. And Austrians in the city of Tyrol set the mountaintops ablaze with massive bonfires honoring the solstice.

Summer Solstice Ritual

There are so many things we can do, as modern Pagans, to celebrate the summer solstice. Cast runes, journal in your grimoire, make flower crowns, pick herbs for your spells, meditate skyclad in the sun’s warming and renewing energy. My personal favorite way of celebrating the solstice is lighting a bonfire and gathering in a circle around it with my coven members, as we dance, and sing, and chant together. The summer and its solstice are all about fun, joy, and celebration. So this solstice, do whatever makes you happiest. 

What Is A Green Witch?

Is your home a veritable jungle, awash with beautiful plants, flowers, and greenery? Do you feel more at home outside in nature than you do anywhere else? Do you feel a deep connection to the flora and fauna that Mother Nature provides? 

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then you might be a Green Witch. If you don’t know what a Green Witch is or have never heard the term, don’t worry, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty for you.

What Exactly Is A Green Witch?

Green Witches are also often called forest witches or garden witches. Though many Pagan religions revere nature, a Green Witch’s practice is solely focused on it. They are connected to the earth and all living things, and they draw on those energies for their craft. 

Most Green Witches are surrounded by nature in whatever form they can be. Whether that’s filling their homes with plants and herbs, or tending to a massive outdoor garden. They have the “green thumb.” They get comfort and energy from the nature that surrounds them. Their magickal tools are often crafted from things they’ve found in nature. They grow their own herbs for spells, and many Green Witches practice herbalism. They craft teas and tinctures, spices and salves that help promote healing and healthy lifestyles. They’ll often have others come to them for healing.

The Green Witch is a wild witch, communing with nature and all its gifts that the Mother Goddess has bestowed upon this earth. Her practice, where possible, takes place outdoors. She communes with animal guides and plant spirits. The Green Witch is grateful for the gifts Mother Nature has given, and she thanks the spirits of nature for their use in her craft. She leaves offerings for the animals and the spirits of the forests.

“You are the sister to the wolf and friend to the hawk. You know in your heart the language of the plants and the songs of the wind. You have an innate connection to the wild edges. You know the beauty of the bee in flight, and hear the call of freedom on the horizon. And yet, as you go through your day today, it may be easy to miss the drum call of the Earth.” – Anni Daulter, Wild Woman.

Five Signs You May Be A Green Witch

If you’re still unsure about whether or not you may be a Green Witch, that’s okay. Not every witch needs a title. But if you’re intrigued and want to learn more, here are five signs that you may be a Green Witch.

  1. You have a green thumb. This isn’t a necessity for Green Witchery, as the ability to care for plants can be a learned one. But many Green Witches simply have an innate ability to care for greenery. 
  2. You’re intrigued by herbalism. The thought of healing yourself and others with homemade teas, salves, tinctures, and spells is what gives you life in your craft. You’re a natural healer and want your craft to reflect that.
  3. Adding onto number two: Most of your practice revolves around herbalism. You spend more time studying healing plants and herbs than any other aspect of your craft. Your home is filled with fresh and dried herbs, plants and flowers loaded with healing properties, and other gifts nature has bestowed upon you.
  4. You revere and respect nature above all else. While this is true for many Pagan traditions, it is especially true for the Green Witch. You practice your craft in nature where possible. You’re in tune with the vibrations of the earth and the changing of the seasons. As Mother Earth falls ill, you can feel it and wish to do all you can to heal it. You express gratitude for nature’s gifts in everything you do. 
  5. You’re drawn to working with the elements. While most paths work with the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, not all of them also tap into the element of Spirit. You tap into Spirit as well, as the Spirit of Mother Nature is what gives you your gifts. The elements are in all that you do. Pretty stones catch your eye. You sleep with the window open even in the winter to hear the winds calling as you sleep. 

How did you stumble upon Green Witchery? Have you always known that was your path or is this something new? If you’re interested in learning more about Green Witchery, check out these resources, and then visit coven.cloud to join a group of like-minded individuals who want to hear all about you, and who are striving to learn and hone their crafts with one another. Welcome home.

0 Mystical Ways to Foretell the Future

It’s common to hear people say, I can’t predict the future. But the truth is that predicting the future isn’t all that difficult; you just need to know how to do it! Even if you’re not into mysticism, there are plenty of techniques out there that anyone can use to try and predict the outcome of their future. Here are 10 different ways you can try your hand at foretelling the future!

1) Use your intuition

The universe is telling you more than you know, if you just listen. Using your intuition is a great way to tap into your cosmic guidance system and start learning how to predict your future. Intuition goes far beyond fortune telling, but it’s something that could benefit from becoming more mainstream. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as helping you choose which friends will be most positive influences in your life, or even helping you make certain decisions about your career path. In short, it’s one of those things we all have access to—but few actually utilize on a regular basis.

2) Mysticism with tea leaves

Tea leaf reading is an ancient art, rooted in mysticism and steeped in divination. The procedure for tea leaf reading is straightforward: stir hot water into your teacup or tea pot; then remove a small amount of liquid and use it to read any patterns you see in your cup. You can read these patterns literally – often they are symbols that represent future events. There are many different templates for reading tea leaves. You may designate portions of the cup to specific themes in your life, or perhaps a timeline. Try out a few different methods, and when you find one you identify with, stick with that consistently to get clear readings. 

Here are some tips for getting started: 

Use loose leaf tea.

Research the meaning of symbols in advance. 

Designated the areas of your cup.

3) Getting Started with Runes

Runes are an ancient way of foretelling our future. Each symbol represents something, whether it’s a letter or an abstract concept. There are many kinds of Runes, but all systems have one thing in common: they’re most effective when cast as a group. You can get started by choosing four sets of three Runes that you feel drawn to and spread them out before you (vertically or horizontally), leaving enough space between each rune so you can focus on it easily. Each rune represents something and has its own meaning, so it is best if you choose them based on your personality and interest level. For example, an upward-facing arrow could signify new beginnings or growth; a downward-facing arrow may represent endings and loss. 

It’s very important to create a connection between yourself and the Runes before casting with them.

4) Consult a crystal ball

If you want a glimpse into your future, there’s nothing quite like a crystal ball. It’s not always clear what you’ll see in them, but then again that could be said about most methods of divination! A traditional crystal ball is like a bubble in space—pure and focused, it can pinpoint whatever you wish to see. Always remember to cover your crystal ball with a black cloth whenever it’s not in use!

5) Reading Palms

Hand reading has been used as a method of divination for thousands of years. One major branch of palmistry is known as Chiromancy, which analyzes an individual’s life line (which is said to be directly connected to one’s health) and also other aspects such as head lines and heart lines. A more general form of palm reading is called Chirologie, where multiple types of readings are analyzed including sun spots, moles, and fingernails. The art can be traced back through ancient civilizations in Tibet and India where it was used by holy men who believed they could read a person’s destiny from their palms. Now you too can have your palm read!

6) Test your inner strength with Tarot cards

Tarot can be intense. An intuitive reading will give you all the answers you need.

If you want to start reading tarot cards, get yourself a deck and grab a free beginner’s guide. There are several on Amazon—but we like Mary K. Greer’s book Tarot for Your Self because it teaches you how to read from a psychological perspective instead of spiritual, making it easier for skeptics to learn. Try doing a one-card draw just to practice looking at your card and interpreting what you see.

7) Numerology for Divination

Numerology is one of those things that either makes total sense or no sense at all. You see, our birthdates can be broken down into numbers that have a lot of meaning and information on them. Some of us are so used to telling others our birthday (and they know how old we are), we may not have realized that these dates tell us quite a bit about ourselves and also could be an indicator of some events in our future.

8) Crystals and Pendulums

Crystals come in a variety of colors and sizes, with each having its own particular meaning and personality. Pendulums are typically made of crystas; they can also be made from polished brass or copper. The idea behind pendulum divination is that these crystals can store universal energy, enabling you to tap into it as needed. To use a pendulum effectively, start by getting in tune with your crystal—hold it in your hand for at least five minutes (as you meditate), visualizing all your worries and fears flowing away from you.

9) Throwing Bones

In history, people have sold all kinds of divining rods and devices meant to help locate water, gold and other valuable stuff buried beneath your feet. Throwing bones is just one variation on that theme. It’s also one of many ways to go fortune-hunting—or in other words, divining answers about your future.  Fortunetelling can be a fun tool for anyone who wants insight into an important decision ahead or a deeper understanding of their path through life.

10) Astrological Predictions

When you’re creating a New Year’s resolution, it can be nice to know that one of your cosmic friends is watching out for you. Astrology isn’t just about what happened in your last life or where you were born; horoscopes actually have predictive powers—which is why they might be useful when making resolutions. 

Astrology is a divination system that’s been around for centuries. The most popular version in modern times is horoscopes, and many people use astrological predictions to set goals or better understand what they’re capable of accomplishing in their careers, relationships and health.

Top 12 Witches in Pop Culture

For years, popular culture has represented witches in such a negative light that they’ve become one of the most vilified groups of people throughout history. In movies and literature, they’re portrayed as evil creatures who desire nothing more than to use their magic to harm innocent people; in real life, however, witches are nowhere near as scary or dangerous as the average movie would have you believe.

#12 – Walpurga

Walpurga is a witch from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, appearing in The Warlock’s Child. Her father had also been a warlock and was so skilled he could travel through time. He ran away with his wife to escape being executed for witchcraft by their town’s Prince. A few years later, Walpurga was born. When she turned 15, her mother died of natural causes but her father knew she would be killed if anyone found out about her powers. So he sent her to live with an aunt who lived far away. When she turned 16, she met a young man named Hans who loved her despite knowing about her magic abilities. They were married soon after meeting each other and shortly after that Walpurga became pregnant with twins – one boy and one girl. One day while they were walking near a riverbank they saw two swans swimming together in the water and suddenly they heard something fall into it – it was Walpurga’s aunt!

She tried to stop them but it was too late – she was already dead. The family asked Hans to look after their children while Walpurga mourned her aunt’s death, and then they all travelled back home.

#11 – Winifred Sanderson

A good witch by any other name is still… Winifred Sanderson. The 1988 movie Hocus Pocus tells a tale of three witches: Winnie, Mary and Sarah, who return to life after 300 years to get revenge on those who did them wrong (namely Max). Winnie, played by Bette Midler in her finest hour, brings them back by hypnotizing Max and sucking out his soul. (No duh!) Max, along with Allison and Thackery Binx, manage to break free just as Hocus Pocus are preparing for their big party. What ensues is classic fun—and my personal favorite Halloween movie of all time.

#10 – Sybill Trelawney

Sybill Trelawney was a professor at Hogwarts and is widely considered to be one of its best teachers, especially for Divination. She taught from at least 1971 until June 1996 and died sometime before 2020, as she was not among those attending Harry Potter’s funeral. In her classes, Trelawney often speaks cryptically and makes very elaborate predictions based on seemingly trivial events. She also has a great fondness for tea and cakes, or biscuits as they are known in England. The Inner Eye is Trelawney’s specialty subject. In 1992 she predicted that Harry Potter would have great fame if he survived his ordeal with Voldemort, which later proved true when he defeated Voldemort himself.

#9 – Zelda Spellman

Zelda Spellman is a witch who appeared on Sabrina: The Teenage Witch. Zelda is clever and can be quick on her feet when she has to be, but she’s also sometimes self-centered and lazy.  She’s not very good at magic, either—but that doesn’t stop her from trying. She also tends to get bored easily and seeks out new things to do or people to meet. Her character arc shows that while you don’t have to be perfect at something (or even good at it), you should still try your best at whatever you do. You might surprise yourself!

#8 – Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix Lestrange is one of Voldemort’s most loyal Death Eaters and she would kill anyone for him. Bellatrix is pure evil and her favorite spell, which she casts frequently, is Crucio. Bellatrix loves torturing her victims before finishing them off. It was thanks to Bella that Sirius Black died because she tortured him into madness before killing him with a knife in Azkaban Prison. She could also be jealous as well; when Harry Potter defeated Voldemort at Hogwarts, Bellatrix started screaming Traitor! after his death as if he had ever actually cared about her or anyone but himself. The point we’re trying to make here is: Don’t get on her bad side!

#7 – Morgana Pendragon

The ‘not so evil’ version of queen from King Arthur. Morgana is a character on ABC’s Once Upon A Time. She is portrayed by Bailee Madison and made her first appearance during episode 2 of season 1, The Thing You Love Most. She is based on characters from Disney’s The Sword In The Stone, and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. Morgana was cursed to be half-giant when she was born, due to Uther (the king) not marrying Igraine (the queen). This forced Uther and Igraine to marry under threat of war or dishonor.

#6 – Paige Matthews

Charmed (1998 – 2006) The third of four sisters, Paige is a no-nonsense realist who is completely out of place with her eccentric sisters. Unlike them, she’s not a witch—she just has to pretend she can do magic whenever they run into trouble. As such, it’s rare that we get to see Paige in full wicked witch mode… but when we do? She’s phenomenal. While Phoebe and Piper are often able to resolve their magical problems by themselves, Paige’s skills as a Whitelighter give her an edge over even those pesky Elders!

#5 – Bonnie Bennett

Doppelgänger and witch of fire, Bonnie Bennett is a character on The Vampire Diaries. She is a love interest for Jeremy Gilbert and, eventually, his girlfriend. She is also somewhat compelled to kill Stefan Salvatore as she was created by Esther with Klaus’s blood through magic. As Klaus’ doppelgänger, Bonnie shares several of her brother’s supernatural abilities including flight and siphoning abilities from other supernaturals. As a witch, she possesses telekinesis, empathy and pyrokinesis but has yet to master these powers.

Bonnie Bennett, is a fictional character from The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off series The Originals, portrayed by Katerina Graham. Created by writer Kevin Williamson, she first appeared in The Night of the Comet, as a witch trapped in Mystic Falls at her 18th birthday party who uses her powers to save Elena Gilbert’s life. She is portrayed as having great power with regard to witchcraft but not being able to control it. Bonnie has a positive outlook on life and often sees good things even where none exist.

One of the strangest things about Bonnie is that she eventually ends up being best friends with Damon Salvatore.

#4 – Willow Rosenberg

Willow is #4 on our list of best witches from pop culture because she was a gentle witch that was sometimes annoying, but had a heart of gold. Also, her Wicca phase was cool. In season five, Willow moves from San Francisco to Sunnydale to attend college at UC Sunnydale and leaves Oz behind. She joins Buffy’s Scooby Gang, where she has a girlfriend relationship with Tara Maclay. After experimenting with magic during her Wicca phase (it ended when Tara almost died), Willow later becomes addicted to black magic in order to keep Tara alive after an attack by Warren Mears’ vampire minions.

#3 – Hermione Granger

The heroine of one of our most beloved book series was just as brave and brilliant as any Harry Potter fan could have hoped for. Her magical talents made her a perfect match for The Boy Who Lived, but we wouldn’t be surprised if she had been a contender to top his list, too. Plus, she started it all—her love of magic led Harry to discover that he was also a wizard at Hogwarts. Even though JK Rowling created an entire universe complete with rules and spells, Hermione always defied them (except when it came to exams). The movie version got her right: smart and quick-witted with a soft side to boot. Her BFFs Ron Weasley and Harry Potter were both lucky to have her on their side.

It’s not just her intelligence that makes Hermione so amazing—it’s her bravery, too. When she learns that she can never go home again after leaving Hogwarts at age 17, she doesn’t whine about it—she drops out of school to continue fighting for wizarding rights. She remains an inspiring example for young witches everywhere, especially girls who need to hear that they don’t have to be perfect to be excellent.

Hermione is one of our ultimate role models for nerdy girls. She’s a brainiac who loves to read, study, and learn new things—in fact, she applies to be an intern at The Ministry of Magic just so she can spend time in their library.

#2 – Rowena Ravenclaw

The Ravenclaw section of our list brings us to Rowena Ravenclaw, featured prominently on Pottermore as one of its History of Magic teachers. Tragically (and indirectly) responsible for the death of her daughter Helena, Rowena is a witch whose popularity soared thanks to being a character people could relate to – even if they didn’t want to. Cursed into insanity by her Muggle-hating ways, history has only revealed her as a small footnote, but Rowling has confirmed that she will be more prominent in future Wizarding World content – specifically, we’ll see more of what happens with Helena’s story. It remains to be seen whether we’ll get an explanation for just how brilliant Rowena is – but at least we know she exists!

And the top witch is… Helga Hufflepuff!

While she may not have been onscreen for very long, Hufflepuff was instrumental to Voldemort’s defeat. After Harry is forced to leave Hogwarts, Dumbledore is left to stand alone against a wizard he knows full well is stronger than him. The headmaster’s only hope: enlist Hufflepuff’s help as a spy within Voldemort’s ranks. While it is unfortunate that we were unable to see more of Hufflepuff on screen, her performance in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows serves as proof of her magic prowess. How many witches can say they defeated Lord Voldemort? Only one: Helga Hufflepuff!

Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius: What Does It Mean for You?

Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius occurs from June 4 to October 23, 2022. This means that Aquarius will be dominated by the planet Saturn during this period of time. What does this mean for you? How will Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius affect your life? There may be some potential pitfalls, but also ways to work with this influence to bring positive changes and opportunities. So! pay close attention to self-reflection and your life path during this time period. Also, be mindful of how to transform this powerful energy to work in your favor.

Welcome Back, Old Friend
Saturn is a slow-moving planet, typically spending up to 3 years in each zodiac sign. During its annual retrograde, Saturn slowly retraces its steps through your zodiac house and returns to where it began. This time around (Saturn entered Pisces in late 2012 and remained there until December 2015), we’ll see it retrograde in Aquarius for roughly four and a half months.

Reassess Goals
When Saturn turns retrograde, you may be forced to reassess your goals and purpose. This slow-down period can be a good opportunity to reflect on why you want to achieve these goals, how realistic they are, and whether they are realistic or not. Make sure that your plans will support future growth and challenge you to grow beyond what’s comfortable—you don’t want stagnation as one of your goals! Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

Planning Ahead
Saturn’s retrograde period is particularly long and will be occurring during an already complicated transit. Mars also turns retrograde at around that time, which could leave you feeling like you’re in a holding pattern. If you feel directionless or aimless, it may be worth your while to regroup and revisit your goals. Identify any areas where you’ve veered off course or changed your mind about what you really want out of life. Even though it might seem like life is spinning wildly out of control—or that others are attempting to influence your actions—the truth is that all of these changes are self-made. Remember that every setback contains within it an opportunity for a comeback.

Extending Yourself Too Much
Every year, Saturn turns retrograde during a specific sign. This is your annual reminder to take inventory of how you’re spending your energy and resources. For example, if you’re working 60 hours a week because you want to be your own boss and make partner by age 35, that’s admirable. But how does it align with what’s happening in your life? Maybe you have a child or two who needs additional attention; perhaps you don’t feel particularly enthusiastic about what you’re doing or don’t feel like it’s aligned with who you are or where you want to go. Whatever it is, pay attention to feelings that pop up during these four months—they will guide you toward making sound decisions when it comes time to plan your next steps.

Don’t Settle For Anything Less Than Perfection
Saturn can be demanding—and it doesn’t accept just anything. If your business idea isn’t good enough, or you aren’t prepared to really work hard, Saturn retrograde is a great time to step back and rethink your next steps. Alternatively, if you have given yourself plenty of time and done your due diligence, you can use Saturn retrograde as an opportunity to assess where there might be problems with your strategy or concepts—things that can be fixed now rather than later. Either way, bear in mind that since it will last approximately four months (beginning June 4th), while Saturn turns retrograde annually, it will be a long process and one that may require patience. In other words: Don’t expect overnight results.

Leading By Example
As a leader, you have to set an example. That is why it’s important to be true to yourself. If you preach honesty but lie on a regular basis, then you lose all credibility. When your team looks at you and sees that you don’t practice what you preach, they may start doing things that are not acceptable to your company’s ethical standards. If your reputation depends upon living up to others’ expectations of professional behavior, it’s important that those expectations match your own beliefs about ethical practices as well.  In short, it’s critical for leaders’ actions and words to match one another and accurately represent your character.

Getting Support From Others
If you’re working on a project that involves multiple stakeholders, create a plan to discuss your progress with everyone involved. Identify any potential issues before they become problems and find ways to prevent them from happening in the future. Plus, by consulting with others about your plans and progress, you’ll receive valuable feedback that can help you reevaluate what you’re doing as well as how to fix it. The support of others doesn’t just provide assistance; it also makes things more enjoyable. And if there is anything Saturn retrograde loves, it’s less pressure and more fun! Remember—you don’t have to do everything alone! By asking for help when needed and supporting others as much as possible, everyone wins!

Prioritizing Time Management
For most of us, time is a commodity. We feel as though we need more of it because there’s never enough. One way to make time your ally, instead of your enemy, is by prioritizing your tasks effectively so that you have time to do what matters most (and don’t waste energy on what doesn’t). In other words, focus on doing rather than being busy and you’ll increase productivity and avoid wasting too much precious time. So, how can you make sure that you focus on priority tasks first? Start by creating a detailed task list with your three biggest projects or activities for today at the top.

Remembering to Act Ethically
As you prepare for Saturn retrograde, think about how you behave ethically. Do you use others to accomplish your professional goals? Do you take a lot from people without giving back in return? This may feel like a productive way to get ahead at first, but eventually, it will come back to bite you. In fact, one of Saturn’s main themes is karma—the cosmic law of cause and effect—which means that what goes around comes around. When retrogrades bring things back into our lives, we have a second chance to correct wrongs and fix mistakes before they spiral out of control and hurt us down the road. Look within during Saturn retrograde and act with integrity. It will serve you well!

Retrogrades are a time to slow down and trust the guidance of the cosmos.

Mercury, Pluto, and Saturn are all retrograde right now. And until they turn direct again in October, it’s essential to take some time to truly understand how each of these planetary energies impacts your life and how you can use that influence to benefit yourself and others. Read on to learn more about what retrogrades mean, how they work, and how you can use them to deepen your understanding of the cosmos and gain insight into your life today.

Pluto retrograde in Capricorn

Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn

What can you expect as you begin your journey into Pluto in Capricorn? The most accessible place to start is by understanding how Pluto’s last transit through Capricorn affected you and how that may help guide your actions during its current retrograde. During Pluto’s last transit through Capricorn, some key things that happened were major economic crashes (remember 2008?), climate change agreements between nations, and significant shifts in government power structures—from George W Bush left office to Barack Obama taking over as President of the United States for example. What does that tell us about what might happen during its current retrograde?

In other words, on April 29, the Planet of Transformation and Destruction began moving backward in the sign of Capricorn. Though the backward motion of Pluto’s orbit is nowhere near as erratic as to when Mercury moves backward, there are still many things for us to pay attention to during the astrological event until October 8, 2022.

The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was in 2008, which means we’ve dealt with all of its themes, including business, structure, patriarchal constructs, karma, and stability. Pluto retrogrades roughly once a year for around six months, so we’ve experienced this plenty of times before. We’ve survived and even thrived under its influence. As far as the central theme is concerned, much reflection is involved. Under Pluto’s influence, we are called to examine such things as our psyche, our subconscious selves, shadow work, and transformation, says Madi Murphy, cofounder of CosmicRX.

Although the effects of Pluto’s retrograde may take a little while to set in, they last longer. This astrological event is all about change. Use the theme of reflection to fuel your personal growth as well – Pluto’s a chameleon, so remember to turn its energy towards creating positive change.

Kalina Trifonova, a Nebula astrologer, recommends keeping an eye out between May 23 and 27. She says that it will be more apparent during this time how love works. If you are unsure about your actions for June 29, there is an outside chance that on that day, your challenges will occur and, as she advises, stand your ground, but be wary of being provoked to act impulsively.

This means Pluto is a planet all about transformation and facing our innermost shadow selves. So do not fear them and be fully aware of them. Murphy tells us that you can use this transit for your empowerment by looking at how you self-sabotage or get in your way and making minor adjustments. Now’s the time to ask yourself, what’s holding you back from your spiritual evolution? When you face them and decide to make changes, you will become aware you have way more power than you realize, explains Murphy.

Take stock of what’s going on in your life and where you need to make a change — Pluto moves slowly, so take your time, and the best will happen in the end.

Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius

Saturn in Aquarius pushes us toward practical solutions that advance society rather than our self-interests. It’s about taking on new ideas and beliefs based on collective human wisdom rather than following your gut or ego (which can sometimes work against you). It’s about balancing your vision for change and making it happen with personal hard work and thinking through how collective societal forces might block you from achieving what you want. Saturn retrograde is an opportunity to look at how we might be stuck, where we may be overreacting in fear or frustration to others, or where we may be trying too hard or not trying enough to make positive change happen.

Even though Saturn isn’t necessarily hard to learn about, the Planet does govern all matters related to order and organization. Annual occurrences include a four-month-long cycle when Saturn appears to go backward in its orbit. Saturn’s time as retrograde between May 23 to October 10 will challenge you to modify the structure of your life.

During this period, it is advised to slow down, balance one’s social life with one’s inner life, and examine what makes oneself tick to improve one’s life.

While faster-moving planets like Mercury or Mars moving in the reverse direction might generate confusion, that is not the case with slower-moving planets. Instead of being held back by exterior difficulties, a Saturn Retrograde forces us to focus inward and remember who we are and how far we have come.

Due to its alignment with stricter life codes, Saturn has been responsible for reigning in planets and zodiac signs. In this way, it has encouraged those subject to its light to put some limitations on themselves. Because Saturn is a karma planet, it holds one accountable for what society expects of us.

Whenever direct, Saturn can seem like a great put-down. However, when it’s in retrograde, it is instead an opportunity to take a step back and examine the various things that have impacted our decisions. We can observe what factors motivate us, such as fear, given this chance.

Saturn is reversed when our inner worlds take precedence over the external. This is when we look inward and are much more self-aware. Examining our past lives in this reflective period helps us understand and improve, then we’re set on the path we want to follow.

As of October 10, Saturn will start going direct again and cease being easy for us to play with. But before then, be self-aware!

Before Saturn moves backward on May 23, examine what you’ve been holding yourself back from doing so you can work on it for the next couple of months — Saturn blesses your ambitions!

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini and Taurus

Your belief system is being challenged or redefined somehow so that you may feel your sense of identity shifting. It’s an excellent time to revisit your past, think about where you came from, what led you here, and how it’s shaped your perspective on life. 

In 2022, four whopping Mercury retrograde transits are happening across six zodiac signs. We now have the first under our belt since from January 14 to February 3 in goal-oriented Capricorn and visionary Aquarius. The second Mercury retrograde of the year is happening in Gemini and Taurus’s astrological signs from May 10 to June 3. Psychologist and social worker Monisha Holmes, MSW, says the message of this transit is to encourage individuals to reflect on their choices and what they’re doing.

As to the basics of Mercury and what its retrograde cycles tend to mean, “Mercury is the planet that represents communication, thinking, and flirting, among other things,” says Holmes. “When it goes retrograde, there’s an optical illusion that makes it appear to be moving backward. Mercury retrogrades are generally a time for rest, recycling, and retrospection.”

This retrograde will be a difficult one because it’s at the tail end of the eclipse season. Senior astrologer Narayana Montúfar, this transit carries a particular astral imprint. These intersecting events may cause us to feel somewhat destabilized.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini

Mercury rules Gemini, which says it’s exalted when it’s not moving backward. From May 10 to 22, it will be moving backward. The result is a week with a recipe for obstacles on your path, especially if you’re not on top of Mercury’s machinations. In an astrologer’s words, We get communication issues. We get misunderstandings. We get extra gossip. All of this drives home the importance of being mindful of what you are doing and saying during this time.

According to Astrologer Iva Naskova at Nebula, During Mercury’s retrograde phase in Gemini, May 10-22, it’s essential to take care of our mental health, but try to take it up a notch. It’s best if we make time to meditate, practice yoga, and find ways to calm our minds and gain clarity in our thoughts. Otherwise, this transit can be overwhelming, especially for Gemini and Virgo. Mercury, the ruling Planet of these signs, will be in direct opposition.

Montúfar explains that the Planet Mercury favors being in Gemini and is the more positive of the retrograde, helping people re-orient and go through profound changes.

Mercury Retrograde in Taurus

In astrology, Mercury will enter Taurus on May 22, altering the vibe of Gemini-lovers to a more stubborn, diplomatic, and indulgent group. Many of us might feel an increased desire to take things slow and loosen up, says Naskova. Yet, if your schedule is saturated, this behavior will add nothing but stress and anxiety for Sagittarius and Leo, for whom Mercury is about to retrograde in their work.

When Mercury is in Taurus, the typically quick-thinking Planet doesn’t mesh well with the slow, mellow energy of the earth sign. During this time, it’s in our best interest to slow down and enjoy life. Make sure to rest from time to time and that leisure does not devolve into laziness.

Transit in Taurus + Saturn in Aquarius will now translate into limitations and challenging situations with authority figures. With Saturn, the Planet of Time, work, and mental energy invested now will be worth it in the long run.

As Mercury is shifting into Taurus this coming May 22, it might be good to account for unexpected things when planning. The shift is an excellent time to plan one’s beliefs and finances because those are two areas where Taurus enjoys stability.

Mercury’s retrograde period can be nerve-wracking, but it’s just one part of the astrological cycle. Mercury retrograde always marks a time of deep introspection when the universe asks us to slow down, Montúfar says. If we take time to reflect inwardly, the cosmic trend of Mercury going into retrograde can be helpful in anchoring and reconnecting to our center when we need it the most.

The next Flower Moon will be on May 16

The Next Flower Moon will be on May 16

The Flower Moon will be in our skies on Monday, May 16 at 12:14 a.m. Eastern Time, and it will also feature the first total lunar eclipse of the year! What exactly is the Flower Moon? I’m glad you asked. The Flower Moon is also called the Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. Both of these names stem from Native American folklore (the Cherokee called it First Fruits Moon). The name Corn Planting Moon comes from the fact that planting season for corn began with this moon back in ancient times.

What is the Flower Moon?

May’s full moon is called the Flower Moon for very obvious reasons. It’s when the last of the winter’s frost melts away, and the world returns to vivid color with all the beautiful blooming flowers poking up through the ground. 

As mentioned above, the Flower Moon goes by many other names denoting the time of the year that it’s found. The Corn Planting Moon for the planting of corn; the Blossom Moon, again, for obvious reasons; and the Hare Moon. If you’re wondering why most of May’s moon’s names have to do with flora, and then there’s the Hare Moon, it’s because, during this time of the year, rabbits start going at it like, well, rabbits.

What Does the Flower Moon Symbolize?

As with the birth of Spring each year, the Flower Moon symbolizes birth, fertility, new possibilities, and healing. Just as we are becoming fully awakened after the cold winter months, so, too, is the Earth. Flowers are blooming, animals are mating, beautiful butterflies and hard working honey bees are flitting around the beginnings of our gardens. 

The Flower Moon finds us still in the season of Beltane, which is believed to be an excellent time for those trying to conceive. Try rubbing some moon water on your belly during the night of the Flower Moon if you find yourself wanting to conceive this year.

If you’re not trying to conceive, you can harness the powerful Flower Moon’s energy for any magickal workings you so desire. This moon is all about pleasure, abundance, romance, happiness, love, celebration, fun, and laughter. Dress yourself and your altar in all the colors of spring flowers. Oranges, reds, yellows, and greens will give your spiritual energy the boost it needs during the Flower Moon.

Flower Blood Moon

Though we won’t be treated to the Super Flower Blood Moon – when a Super Moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse – like we were last May, we will get to feast our eyes on a Flower Blood Moon on May 16th. Total lunar eclipses are often called Blood Moons, not for any special reason, other than the fact that during a total lunar eclipse, our usual bright white satellite turns a deep blood red color.

May’s Flower Moon will be coinciding with a total lunar eclipse, one of two in 2022. Visible from North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia, the total lunar eclipse will reach totality – the point at which the Earth’s shadow is fully covering our moon – at 3:29 a.m. on May 16th. Totality will last approximately 85 minutes, so be sure to set your alarms if you want to be able to see this year’s Flower Blood Moon!

Flower Moon Ritual

The Flower Moon is a great time for rituals involving manifestation. The world is in bloom all around us, so it’s time to get our dreams blooming too. Here is a simple ritual to manifest your dreams during this year’s Flower Moon.

What you’ll need:

Two candles, preferably red, but white always works in a pinch.
A bowl filled with moon water.
Flowers, any you can find will work.
A Black marker
A red ribbon

Cast your circle and ask your guardians/spirits/deities to join your ritual. Dress in bright flowery colors, or, with the weather warming, go skyclad if you’re comfortable.

Decorate your altar with spring flowers. Magnolias, tulips, daffodils, or cherry blossoms work well.

Use the marker to write your goal or intention on the ribbon. Add some flowers to the bowl of moon water.

Place the ribbon in the bowl. If you can see the moon from where you are, look at it. If you can’t visualize its energy filling your circle and surrounding your altar. Ask the moon to bless your water.

Next, light one of the candles and chant the following incantation.

Hail to the guardians of fire.

Hail to the spirit of the moon.

By the strength of my will,

And the passion in my heart,

Join with me as I create,

Help me to manifest my will.

Stir the ribbon in the bowl of moon water while you meditate and visualize your manifestations coming to fruition.

After meditating, place the bowl by a window, or preferably outside if possible, so it can be charged with the energy of the Flower Moon. Extinguish the candle, close your circle, and thank the guardians/spirits/deities for attending your ritual.

The following morning, strain your bowl of water and pour it into a glass jar or bottle. Use the water now infused with the moon’s energy to dress the second candle.

In the following days, burn both of the candles. Do so for a bit each day the following week until both candles are burned down.