January was named after the Roman god Janus, who was known as the god of doorways, endings, and the new beginnings that follow. He had 2 heads, one looking to the past year, and one looking to the upcoming year, and so he’s perfect for this first year of the month when we’re looking forward to new and exciting things that the next year will bring!
January is also the coldest month in the Northern Hemisphere, so we’re staying in a lot more often. This can lead to a lot of seasonal depression as the nights are still long, and the sunlight is weak. It can also be a great time for going within, examining where our life is, and just generally dealing with our shit.
As it’s the first month of the year, it’s also a great time for laying plans that will sprout in the coming Spring, grow in the coming Summer, be harvested in the coming Autumn, and then we can examine what worked and make even better plans next Winter.
Here in Georgia, the temperatures have been hanging around the 40s, and hopefully that will continue. We didn’t get much of a winter last year, so we need one. I’m hoping it will kill some fleas and mosquitos for the upcoming summer. I’ve been seeing a lot of wildlife, however. The squirrels have been going crazy around here lately, and there are lots of house wrens. One of the neighborhood’s feral cats had kittens in November, and we’ve put a blanket down for them in our crawl space after we found out that they’ve been living in there. We take food down every few days so mom doesn’t have to wander too far to find food. They play on our back deck on sunny days, and they’re kind of adorable.
Between the time I wrote this (December 27th) and today (January 1st), I’ve seen at least a dozen robins (several were roosting together in a tree), and I’ve had a close encounter with a huge, beautiful hawk. I tried to get a picture, but couldn’t make it happen. Robins usually symbolize the coming of Spring, but here in Ga, they tend to hang around for the Winter. Regardless, they’re a symbol of joy, hope, rejuvenation, and a fresh start- all great themes for the New Year!
Hawks always symbolize paying attention to details for me. They’re symbolic of awareness, finding opportunity, and just having vision in general. This is kind of a great way to start the New Year too! I’m always really involved in planning, setting goals and priorities, and setting intentions for the New Year. Hawk can help with this.
Wolf Moon in Cancer, January 1st, 9:24pm (EST) -This is a super moon!
New Moon in Capricorn, January 16, 9:18pm (EST)
Blue Moon in Leo, January 31st, 8:26am (EST)- This one comes with a lunar eclipse, but it won’t be visible in the Eastern or Central time zones- it happens after the moon has set for us.
Peak of Quadrantids meteor shower January 2nd-3rd
Lunar eclipse January 31st at 8:26am (EST)
Celtic Tree Months:
Birch (Dec 24- Jan 20th): Contemplation, making plans for the future, new beginnings
Rowan (Jan 21st- Feb 17th): Personal empowerment
Jan 1- New Year’s Day
Jan 15- Martin Luther King Day
Jan 15- Civil Rights Day
Jan 15- My birthday!
Jan 1- Jan 5- Dionysia (festival dedicated to Greek god Dionysus- plays were performed, wine was enjoyed)
Jan 5- Feast of Befana (Roman goddess who brought gifts to children on her broom)
Jan 6- Offerings made to the 8 Greek gods of the winds, in the 8 directions from which they blew
Jan 13- Jan 25- Norse Midwinter, where offerings were made to the Norse gods to ask for plentiful crops in the coming year
Jan 16- Jan 17- Feast of Hekate
Jan 17- Jan 18- Gamelion Noumenia- Greek festival honoring all Greek deities, offerings were made
Jan 19- Jan 20- Feast of the Charites, Greek goddesses of beneficence
Jan 20-21- Feast of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty
Jan 21- 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: Rebirth after the death of the old year, planning, trying to stay optimistic despite the dreary weather, calm after the hectic holidays, beginning new projects.
General activities for the month: Studying, staying warm and cozy, reading for pleasure, writing, quiet creative activities, trying to get out and soak up as much sun as possible on sunny days, setting goals for the coming year, burning candles, buying seeds if you’re a green thumb (I wish I was!), making soups and homemade bread.
Herbs I’m using: Turmeric (anti-inflammatory, helps with pain from the cold weather), Ginger (also anti-inflammatory and warming), St. John’s Wort (anti-depressant, I have an enormous bottle of tincture I made that helps me through the seasonal depression), Valerian (in a tea- great to help lull you to sleep!)
Stones I’m using: Lithium quartz (helps to soothe depression or anxiety as it’s rich in lithium), Lepidolite (same properties as lithium quartz, soothing and lovely), Howlite (great for soothing anxiety and helping with sleep), Blue Lace Agate (calming, great for sleep)
Goddess of the Month: This month, I’ll be working with the Moirai, or the Greek fates. I feel like they’re really appropriate for this time of year, as January is a time when I look forward and try to map out my future/fate/destiny for the year. I’ll be writing about the Moirai more extensively on my blog at MoonBooks.
3 card reading
We start the month feeling the energy of the reversed Knight of Wands. The Knight of Wands is all about taking action, starting new projects, full throttle motivation. But reversed here, he’s indicating that we just don’t have that right now. We’re a little more suited to quiet contemplation, planning instead of doing, taking some quiet time to recover from the frustrations and stress of December.
As the month progresses, we start to feel the energy of the Knight of Chalices. This is great energy for this time of year, because we’re examining our feelings, our relationships, and how we express ourselves. It’s a perfect time to do some inner work, try to work on creating a happy, cozy home, and take on some creative project (whether that’s making music, writing poetry, or painting- anything that we really put our soul into!) The Knight of Chalices is a little more focused inward than the Knight of Wands.
At the end of the month, we see the Two of Wands reversed. This still just isn’t the time to try and start anything new. Keep working with that Knight of Chalices energy, and express yourself just to express yourself. Don’t try to start a new business, or new project, just keep expressing yourself for the joy of self-expression.
Our special guidance card is Cancer. This is a great card to correspond with the Knight of Chalices energy. It’s a sign to show the people you love how much they mean to you, but also to take care of and nurture yourself. Be your own best friend, or your own mother if that’s what you need. Be gentle with yourself right now.
through the whispering wood,
hushing fir and oak;
crushed each leaf and froze each web –
but never a word he spoke.
by the shivering sea,
lifting sand and stone;
nipped each limpet silently –
and then moved on.
down the frozen stream,
catching at his breath;
on his lips were icicles,
at his back was death.
My personal tides: January is both brutal and transformative for me. I usually have a real problem with seasonal depression, and that puts me in bed for a few days at a time. But I also kind of deal with all of my shit in January, and I can move on to be stronger and saner in the Spring. I also make a lot of plans in January, and some I will even follow through with! I choose a word or phrase that I want to take with me and set the theme for the new year, and last year’s really helped. I’m hoping that happens again this year!
My personal goals: I’m mostly planning for the things I want to manifest in 2018, reading, and writing. I’m also working on a series of guided meditations that will be available on my Etsy shop! I also want to take a few days aside to study tarot. There’s always more to learn. The reading for this month really doesn’t support my goals here (aside from the creativity of the Knight of Chalices), but I always prefer to make plans and set goals, and then if my body/brain say no, I just have to listen.
On a more personal level, I intend to spend some major time trying to correct my ridiculous sleep pattern (or lack thereof). I didn’t sleep for almost 3 days in December, and then I slept 2 days and nights. When my body crashes, it doesn’t fuck around. I can’t live like that, and I want to work on creating a restful, relaxing, sleep-inducing atmosphere in our bedroom. I’ll be doing some deep-cleaning, and working out some new routines with our pets so they don’t keep me up all night.