January is kind of a mixed bag, depending on your mindset. For some, the holidays are over, and the long winter stretches ahead of us, bleak and depressing. But for some, this is a month of new possibilities, taking control of our lives after the chaos of the holiday season, and a time to rest, recuperate, and do some serious self-examination. January is my birth month, so as much as the cold weather hurts my fibromyalgia, I love to get out into the cold and feel the wind cut through my clothing to remind me that I’m alive. I just have to be prepared to pay the price by resting and feeling crummy the next day.
January was named after the Roman god Janus, the two headed god of doorways, endings, and new beginnings. He had one head forever turned toward the past (looking to the previous year), and one head turned toward the future (the new year ahead). As such, he’s a perfect archetype for the gateway of the new year.
There isn’t a lot of wildlife around right now, just some cardinals that have wintered in the woods around my house. Even the hearty hawks are quiet, and everything seems really silent. We’re feeding the neighborhood’s feral cats still, and trying to give them access to warm places to hide from the weather. We’re staying close to our space heater, and bundling up in blankets on the couch. I got a lot of good books for Yule/Christmas, and so I’m reading a lot. Also, YouTube and Netflix are my best friends this month.
January 5- New Moon in Capricorn, 8:28pm EST
January 21- Full Moon in Leo, 12:15am EST
January 3- Quarantids meteor shower begins
January 6- Uranus goes direct
Celtic Tree Month:
Birch (December 24- January 20): Beginning of Celtic tree calender, new beginnings, making plans for the future, contemplation, resolutions, inception, “Lady of the Woods”, reflects feminine aspects of nature. Renewal, protection, wards evil, banishes fears/builds courage, beauty and tolerance.
Rowan (Jan 21st- Feb 17th): Protection, inspiration, vision, clearing the mind for meditation, attunes us to nature, broadens perspectives, protects from harm on a journey, brings spiritual enlightenment, hidden mysteries of nature and quickening of life force
January 1: New Year’s Day
January 6: Epiphany (Christian)
January 21: Tu Bishvat (Jewish)
January 21: Martin Luther King Jr Day
Jan1: World Peace Day
Jan 5: Feast of Befana (Roman goddess who brought gifts to children on her broom)
Jan 5-6: Feast of Hekate, who guides all through transitions and crisis
Jan 6-7: Gamelion Noumenia- Greek festival honoring all the gods and goddesses.
Jan 8-9: Feast of the Charities- honoring the Goddesses of beneficience.
Jan 9-10: Feast of Aphrodite- day to honor peace and compassion
Jan 13- Jan 25: Icelandic/Norse Midwinter, where offerings were made to the Norse gods to ask for plentiful crops in the coming year
Jan 20: World Religions Day, a day to honor all religions
Jan 24- Feb 1: Sementivae- a Roman festival of sowing, honoring Ceres (grain goddess), Proserpine (fruit goddess), and Terra (earth goddess)
*Some people begin their Imbolc/Candlemas celebrations on January 31st, I prefer to wait until February 1st.
Themes for the month: Renewal, leveling up, self-examination, solitude, a fresh start! Also, cleansing and purification for the year to come.
General activities for the month: Hiking (some might disagree, but I love being out in nature in the Wintertime), planning, goal-setting, starting something new, reading, building cozy fires, knitting, rest and relaxation, going within.
Herbs I’m using: White sage for purification, lemon/ginger/turmeric simmered together with local raw honey to stabilize my stomach issues after the holidays.
Stones I’m using: Labradorite to help with transformation- even the most painful, Botswana agate for finding solutions and balancing and centering physically, mentally, and spiritually, and blue lace agate for dreaming.
Goddess of the Month: I had kind of a weird moment on Christmas Day, when we left earlyish in the morning to visit my mother for Christmas breakfast. There was sparkling frost everywhere. This doesn’t seem so weird to most people, but my sleep schedule means I usually don’t wake up before 11am. So I was awed by the beauty and the crispness of the early day. In that spirit, I’ve been thinking a lot about Eos, the Greek ‘rosy fingered’ Goddess of the dawn. This is also the dawn of the new year, and I feel like anything is possible with a new day, and a new year!
3 card reading:
First, we see the 4 of Wands. We’ve been working really hard, or spending all of our energy (the holidays have a tendency to really take it out of us), and we need a rest. So we’re going to be laying low and spending time recuperating. This is the perfect time of year for that, and really goes with the internal, quiet energy of January.
Next, we see the Page of Chalices reversed. This card is calling us to be quiet about the plans that we’re making right now. While we’re dreaming and planning new creative endeavors for 2019, they’re still in the earliest planning stages, and we’ll do well to keep them under wraps. Sometimes people can inadvertently steal your thunder if you give them too much information, so it’s a good idea to let the new things we’re dreaming up simmer under the surface until we have a strong idea how to start.
Finally, we have the Moon reversed. So I feel like this is an emotional rest period for us too. Perhaps the holidays brought up some emotional issues, or we’ve been stressed about something serious, but this card is indicating a time of emotional rest. Sometimes it’s nice to just drift in the grey energy of having no fucks to give, and let our hearts and heads rest. This might be a good time to go out into nature and ground ourselves physically while we rest and regroup.
Our special guidance card is the Waning Gibbous Moon, or Devotion reversed. So it’s a good time to question what it is that we’re holding onto tightly. Are there still things from 2018 that we haven’t let go of yet? Are we devoted to the right things, or should we change our path? This can include relationships, careers, our homes, or anything that we devote our time and energy to. Maybe it’s time to reexamine those things.
The Snow Fairy
By Claude McKay
Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.
And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter’s night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downful pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.
My personal tides: I have mixed feelings about my birth month. Traditionally, I’ve had a lot of crummy birthdays and I deal with a lot of seasonal depression this time of year, but I try to stay cautiously optimistic that this year will be OK. I guess that sums up my whole approach to January. I move back and forth from being optimistic and feeling a world of possibilities in front of me at New Year, and feeling low, hurty, and depressed when I don’t see the sun for a week or more due to the cold and early evenings.
My personal goals: I have decisions to make. I’ve been waiting for things to line up and money to come in so that I could start making the moves that I need to make, but the reality is that I need to gear up to make those moves regardless of whether the circumstances are perfect and the savings account is padded. We need to find a new place to live, STAT! I’m also really working on developing a regular spiritual practice where I start meditating, praying, and purifying my energy every day. I feel like that’s going to see me through the rest of what seems like a very tumultuous year ahead. Transformation can be messy!