There was a time when I had a lot of trouble at this time of year. I have a little bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it hit me hard. I also had a rough time around my birthday, and spent a good deal of January depressed because of it. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve learned to really appreciate the quiet, grey days of January, the sense of rest and recuperation, and the opportunity to go within and dream of what I want to do in the Spring. I also especially love New Year, as it gives me a special time to focus on what I want to leave behind from the old year and bring into being in the new year. I love dreaming big and making my bucket list for the year to come.
I also have a special word or phrase that I use to symbolize the new year. 2019 was ‘Sacred Home’ as I prepared for my move and moved in 2019. This year will be something different, though I don’t know exactly what just yet. Do you choose a word to bring into the new year with you?
I haven’t seen many birds at the feeder, except for a beautiful pair of bluebirds that showed up on Yule. And we’ve had a couple chickadees and our resident house finches. I haven’t really seen any other critters, though I hear the geese in the swamp every now and again. I wonder if the bulk of them have gone farther South.
The trees are bare, and the sky is usually a pearly grey with rose highlights. We’ll be hiking through a forest preserve for my birthday, and I can’t wait to soak up some of that stark, bare Winter landscape. Hopefully we’ll have snow this year!
January 10 2:23pm EST Full Moon (Cancer) (Lunar Eclipse)
January 24 4:44pm EST New Moon (Aquarius)
January 3-4: Quadrantid Meteor Shower
January 11: Uranus goes retrograde
January 23: Neptune goes retrograde
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 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 25: Chinese New Year
(I’m going to be doing this section a little differently from now on. I’m going to list the main holidays of the Pagan/Wiccan wheel of the year and their variations as a lot of the ancient Greek and Roman festivals I was writing about in previous months don’t really hold much relevance anymore. So that means that there aren’t any holidays this month. Enjoy the void time and use it to reflect on the tide of the year!)
Themes for the month: Warmth and coziness, going within, a beginning of a new year/new adventure!
General activities for the month: Dream work, shadow work, journaling, reading, drinking tea, watching the backlog on your DVR or Netflix, getting out into the cold to see some nature, planning, setting goals,
Herbs I’m using: Peppermint (lovely as a tea this time of year), mugwort (also lovely as a tea- good for dreaming and scrying), patchouli (candle and oil- to bring some lovely warmth and earthiness into my life)
Stones I’m using: Blue lace agate for dreamwork, aventurine for wealth, astrophyllite for life path work
Goddess of the Month: This month’s Goddess Oracle card is Eostre- Goddess of new beginnings. While she’s usually celebrated in the Spring around her namesake holiday Easter or Ostara, she’s really appropriate for this time of year too. She’s about everything fresh, new, and exciting, and she’s really suited towards New Year for that reason.
3 card reading:
This month, we start with the Knight of Wands. So we’re fired up and ready to take action. The excitement of the New Year has us ready and raring to go.
Next, we see the King of Swords reversed. So while we’re motivated and wiling to put forth Herculean efforts right now, the message here is that we need to put a lot of thought into what we’re doing as well. Running into a fire for the sake of taking action isn’t going to do anyone any good.
Finally, we see the 8 of Swords. So if we do go running off half-cocked, trying to do every little thing, we may limit our options later. The message for this reading is to stop and really plan our the path before taking action this month. The more time you spend planning and thinking, the better your options will be later.
The special guidance card is Waxing Gibbous, or Connection. So perhaps we would also do well this month to talk to people we respect about what our goals and plans are, and get some feedback. Connection is the better path than going it alone right now.
Written January 1, 1832
By Henry Alford
The year is born to–day–methinks it hath
A chilly time of it; for down the sky
The flaky frost–cloud stretches, and the
Sun Lifted his large light from the Eastern plains.
With gloomy mist–enfolded countenance,
And garments rolled in blood. Under the haze
Along the face of the waters, gather fast
Sharp spikes of the fresh ice; as if the year
That died last night, had dropt down suddenly
In his full strength of genial government,
Prisoning the sharp breath of the Northern winds;
Who now burst forth and revel unrestrained
Over the new king’s months of infancy.
The bells rung merrily when the old year died;
He past away in music; his death–sleep
Closed on him like the slumber of a child
When a sweet hymn in a sweet voice above him
Takes up into its sound his gentle being.
And we will raise to him two monuments;
One where he died, and one where he lies buried;
One in the pealing of those midnight bells,
Their swell and fall, and varied interchange,
The tones that come again upon the spirit
In years far off, mid unshaped accidents;–
And one in the deep quiet of the soul,
The mingled memories of a thousand moods
Of joy and sorrow;–and his epitaph
Shall be upon him;–“Here lie the remains
Of one, who was less valued while he lived,
Than thought on when he died.”
My personal tides and goals: I found a work-from-home job, and I’m currently training for that. This is the year of trying to reclaim my life from fibro and other health issues that have kept me on the sidelines for way too long. I’m excited to start bringing in steady money again. I’ve also been planning for 2020, and the future is looking bright!