Animist Wheel of the Year Cheat Sheet

wheel of the year cheat sheet

If you’re new to animism and need a little help understanding the wheel of the year, don’t fret. This animist wheel of the year cheat sheet will help things to click so that you can get into the groove of the seasons. You will be coming up with your own ideas that suit your geography in no time.

Keep in mind that the holy days are approximate and may change slightly from year to year. The Moon phase dates vary widely from year to year. The Sun enters each sign on the same days, but the Moon can arrive at any time within that 29 day span. For example, the Sun enters Scorpio on October 23 and leaves November 21. In 2020, the new Moon doesn’t get there until November 15. So use this as a guideline and check a lunar calendar to find out the actual dates and time.

Feel free to observe some dates and not others. Just do what calls to you.

January

Full Moon in Leo – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of recognition, being seen, and drama.

New Moon in Aquarius – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of detachment, understanding, and experiencing freedom.

February

Promise of Spring Feb 1- the Sun began its return to domination back at the Winter Solstice, but now we begin to really notice that Spring is not far away. This is a quiet time for purification, fertility, creating things, protection, and prosperity.

Full Moon in Virgo – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of humility, perfectionism, analysis or service.

New Moon in Pisces – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of spirituality, emotions, intuition, dreams, duality, and Shadow energy.

March

springFull Moon in Libra – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of balance, impartiality, indecision and relationships.

New Moon in Aries – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of newness, action, assertiveness, leadership, and courage.

Spring Equinox  March 20– this is the balance of light and dark, when the Day and Night are equal length. It’s time to contemplate complimentary duality and sink into opposites and paradoxes.

April

Full Moon in Scorpio – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of passion, transformation, death, sex, extremes, and control.

New Moon in Taurus – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of beauty, material possessions, stubbornness, steadiness, and practicality.

May

May Day May 1– it’s time for the first harvest. Early spring crops like strawberries are beginning to ripen in abundance. It’s time to celebrate fertility, life, and connect with the ancestors with bonfires, sex, and rituals.

Full Moon in Sagittarius – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of religion, devotion, ideals, adventure, travel, and expansion.

New Moon in Gemini Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of communication, socializing, change, and curiosity.

June

summerFull Moon in Capricorn – Tired, wired, stressed energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of ambition, work, determination, pragmatism, goals, and self-control.

New Moon in Cancer – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of feelings, the mother, instinct, nurturing, empathy, connections.

Summer Solstice June 22- Today is the longest day of light. The Sun is at its strongest. From this day onward, it will lose a little power to the Darkness. The Sun is the focus. You can include anything that has to do with light, like candles, bonfire, or sunflowers.

July

Full Moon in Aquarius – Tired, wired, stressed energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of detachment, understanding, and experiencing freedom.

New Moon in Leo – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of recognition, being seen, and drama.

August

Feast of Transformation Aug 1 Today is a harvest day that centers around the Sun and grains that will get us through the winter. Transformation is about sacrifices, or endings so that new things can begin. Our crops die so that we can live. We celebrate with fire and play.

Full Moon in Pisces- Tired, wired, stressed energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of spirituality, emotions, intuition, dreams, duality, and Shadow energy.

New Moon in Virgo Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of humility, perfectionism, analysis or service.

September

autumnFull Moon in Aries – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of newness, action, assertiveness, leadership, and courage.

New Moon in Libra Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of balance, impartiality, indecision and relationships.

Fall Equinox Sept 22 this is the balance of light and dark, when the Day and Night are equal length. It’s time to contemplate complimentary duality and sink into opposites and paradoxes.

October

Full Moon in Taurus – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of beauty, material possessions, stubbornness, steadiness, and practicality.

New Moon in Scorpio – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of passion, transformation, death, sex, extremes, and control.

November

Ancestor Day Nov 1 The ancestors are important every day, but today is the day when it’s easiest to connect with them. So we honor them with visits to the graves, cleaning the graves, bringing them food, telling their stories, and talking to them.

Full Moon in Gemini – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of communication, socializing, change, and curiosity.

New Moon in Sagittarius – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of religion, devotion, ideals, adventure, travel, and expansion.

December

winterFull Moon in Cancer – Tired, wired, stress energy. Time to finish things up, let them go, move them out in the areas of feelings, the mother, instinct, nurturing, empathy, connections.

New Moon in Capricorn – Introspective time when your wants and needs are in alignment. Time to begin again in the areas of ambition, work, determination, pragmatism, goals, and self-control.

Winter Solstice Dec 21 Death arrived on Ancestor Day. With it came the cold. Now we’re deep at rest on the longest night of the year. The Sun regains its strength tomorrow and will slowly return and bring life back with it. Tonight we celebrate the Sun’s return with prayers, a bonfire, a feast, songs, welcome the sunrise, or contemplate the darkness.

This is just a brief summary of what’s happening as the days go by. Check out our youtube channel, this blog, and our podcast for more ideas to help you make the year more personal and meaningful.

You can also watch the Moon each night to help you stay in sync with the wheel of life. The Moon changes so fast and looks different every day. It can help you appreciate each day and the idea of transience.

How to Keep the Holy Days Sacred

holy days

The winter holiday season is over, and the holiday horror stories are rolling out. If you have some of your own, read on. See how to keep the holy days sacred so that this will be the last year of disasters.

My holy days are always fabulous. I look forward to them every year and have a great time. As long as you remember “sovereignty, connection, and Oneness” and these four guidelines, yours can be fantastic every time too.

Don’t Make It About Gifts

The quickest way to spoil a good time is to make it about gifts.

What are you going to get me? Is my present better than hers? Is my present better than last year? Did you put enough thought into it?

Ack! It’s enough to drive someone crazy.

Lots of people understand that consumerism is a mood killer. You could establish different rules that work for you like: no gifts. Only handmade gifts. Or maybe you only give gifts when you feel like it throughout the year. This way it’s always heartfelt, there is no obligation, and no pressure.

Gifts are a great way to show appreciation. However, when they become the center of attention or obligatory, they can be a way to keep score. And that’s not really what holy days are all about, are they?

Don’t Make It About Food

Depending upon when your holiday season starts, you could be looking at up to 6 weeks of feasting. That’s a lot of food to pack in. And if you are like most people, it’s carb heavy, sugar heavy, holiday foods that you don’t normally eat throughout the year. This can make you sluggish and moody, not to mention less healthy.

Food is love. Trust me. I know. So by all means indulge. Just maybe keep the feast days to the actual days and not the whole season.

If you’re like my family, you make enough food to feed the neighborhood for a week. If you dropped it down a notch or two, you can still have a great meal and enjoy it fully.

Don’t Make It About Money

Once we start asking for big ticket items or putting a price tag on the value of gifts, things can get really stressful. With that comes judgment that someone didn’t spend enough or family get togethers are too expensive to attend. Or maybe one family has all the financial burden of hosting.

Zoom out. Consider the big picture. We can’t know what someone’s financial resources are. So the best way to deal with that is to offer to help, commit only to what you can afford, and don’t judge.

Holy days are about connection. It costs nothing to do that. There are a million ways to do it in a way that works for all sides. All it takes is a little creativity.

Don’t Make It About Obligation

Holy days are a time when everyone is celebrating. There are lots of options for gatherings, and yet life still must go on. We still have to work. We still have to pay attention to our friends, family, and partners. Self care does not go out the window. It can be tough juggling it all.

This is when sovereignty works best. Trust that everyone is doing the best that they can. It’s not a reflection of their love or care if that means they aren’t spending time with you. The best gatherings are those where everyone present wants to be there, too. So enjoy it for what it is.

It’s easy to get lost in the madness that is the holy days. It can be a really stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. With healthier boundaries, less judgment, and clear communication, dysfunctional holidays can be a thing of the past. If you start planning now, by next Thanksgiving, it will  flow effortlessly.

Celebrating the Feast of Transformation

feast of transformation

All Pan Society holy days are connected with the natural world – particularly the sun. The Feast of Transformation is an agricultural holy day that marks the beginning of the harvest season. It’s time to reap what we have sown. Indeed, the feast is a reaping of the hard work that went into planting this year’s crops. It is made up of seasonal, fresh foods from this year’s plantings. Wild foods are also a great way to symbolize the Earth’s natural fertility.

This time of year is often the hottest, but we already see that night comes on earlier. We’re at the halfway point of the sun’s reign on earth. His power wanes. The death of the sun is but a short time away.

The “transformation” is a recognition of the need for sacrifice. Something has to end so that something else can begin. Or to put it another way, it’s a time of death and rebirth. The wheat that we harvest must be cut down so we can make bread. The seeds are collected so they can be sown again next year and be reborn.

The Feast of Transformation is also a fire festival. The Promise of Spring starts the fire festival season with a small hearth fire. May Day and the Summer Solstice also feature fires, but the Feast of Transformation is the biggest. The harvest demonstrates the sun’s victory over the cold, wet, windy weather of winter. Life can continue for one more season. This is cause to celebrate. How?

Feasting, of course. Dancing, music, bonfires or light of any kind. Fairs, festivals. Sports and games. Community fun. Masculine energy and activities are the focus of this time of year. Too soon the cold weather will come and we’ll slide into quiet, dark, solitary time. And this is the way the wheel of life rolls. The sun must decline. Rest will come after the harvest, but today we party!

How can you observe this holy day? Here are some ideas:

  • Go to a local “pick your own” farm and harvest some of the season’s fresh food.
  • Eat wild or local foods.
  • Contemplate how the waning sun and masculine energy is happening in your life.
  • Journal on what you are reaping. Is it what you anticipated? Is it what you wanted?
  • Journal on what you need to sacrifice to get what you want.
  • Dance.
  • Attend a bonfire.
  • Create an altar of lights or candles.
  • Participate in games.
  • Attend a local fair.
  • Create a ritual that includes gratitude for the Earth’s continued fertility.
  • Create a ritual that celebrates the marriage of the Earth and Sun.
  • Meditate on the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.

Magical Herbs for the Summer Solstice

magical herbs

We’ve been talking about magic a lot on Pan Society. Perhaps because we are upon one of the most magical times of the year, Summer Solstice. So, it’s a good time to talk about some of the magical herbs that are associated with this time of year.

Getting to know the plants, their properties, and associated gathering times is a great way to step into the wheel of life. In many cultures, this time of midsummer is a great time to give thanks. The earth is fertile and abundant and sharing her gifts with us. Her magical plants are part of that wonderful harvest. This is a time for gathering above ground plants, so let’s look at what’s available now.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is the most common magical herb. It’s bright yellow, star shaped flower looks like the sun and is traditionally the most important and first gathered. We can trace the tradition of gathering St. John’s wort now back to ancient Greece. However, it’s found throughout the world even still today.

St. John’s wort is used in modern times mainly as an anti-depressant. In the ancient world it was promoted for its wound healing properties. It may also have anti microbial properties. It’s most often used as a tea, but is also hung as an adornment over icons of St. John the Baptist on midummer (June 23 or 24th) to honor him and banish evil from home or places of worship. In Wales, it is hung throughout the house to bring in peace, prosperity, health to the animals, and a bountiful harvest.

If you want to get really traditional, you can harvest this while naked! Like many of the Pan Society holy days, Summer Solstice has a fertility component. It’s a prime time for love magic. Many of these charms and rituals use St. John’s wort to protect against heartbreak and give one the courage to make a move.

Sunflowers

The second most popular plant associated with the Summer Solstice is the sunflower. Could there be a more obvious connection than the sunflower? They bring bright and cheerful energy like the sun. As they grow, they turn to face the sun, following it as it moves across the sky. They remind us to look up. Turn towards the light.

Sunflowers are prized for their food and oil. They are also a source of yellow and orange dye. Medicinally they have antimalarial properties. Magically they are used for bringing fertility, good luck, truth, loyalty, and honesty. Like the sun, they hide nothing and spread cheer, so it’s easy to see how these association came to be.

Stonecrop, Vervain, and Yarrow

These herbs are still gathered in Celtic lands and hung about the house for protection against the evil eye and death. The Summer Solstice is a liminal time when the veil between worlds is thin. Spirits are about.

It’s helpful to understand the animist views on death as a time of transition to really understand this, but the short version is that if spirits don’t fully cross over – because they are restless about how they lived, they are not well tended by the living during their transition to the Other World, or they just haven’t been dead long enough – they can “pollute” the living. These herbs help to purify spaces and keep them away.

Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Hyssop, and Sage

After the coming of Christianity, the Summer Solstice observation was moved to midsummer’s eve (June 23) and made into a saints day, St. John’s Day. This was done historically in many cultures when the conquering culture came to new lands as it made it easier for the new religion to take hold. In Provence, France the gathering of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, hyssop, and sage was part of this celebration. They infused them to heal the body and spirit.

Elder

If you don’t want to be the object of someone else’s spells, gather some elderberry. Elderberry isn’t yet available where I am, but in places where it is, it’s used for warding off enchantments. If you want to see the fey, sit under an elder tree on the Summer Solstice. The spirit of Elder is a gatekeeper between the realms of life and death. Apparently she can also open doorways to the non-apparent world.

Fern Seed

Another way to avoid enchantments is to make yourself invisible! That’s fern seed’s traditional use. If you collect the seeds at midnight on midsummer, you can also wish upon them.

Lavender

Summer is the season of heat and fire. Lavender’s blue flowers help to cool things down. The flowers are strewn in the Summer Solstice bonfire to bring peace and serenity to the celebration. They can cool down anger and irritability as well. Adding it to your bathwater can help you sleep.

Mugwort

The Summer Solstice happens as the Sun is entering the sign of Cancer. Cancer is ruled by the Moon. So although it’s mainly a solar holiday, it does have a lunar component too. In keeping with the idea of balance, this is appropriate. And mugwort is a moon herb.

The Summer Solstice is a time for divination. Peering into the unknown is a strength of the moon. Mugwort leads the way by opening the psychic channels. Drinking mugwort on the night of the Solstice can help you see into the darkness. Placing the leaves under your pillow can give you prophetic dreams.

Strewing mugwort into the Solstice bonfire can cleanse and heal.

The moon is feminine, and mugwort is also used to help regulate female hormones. This can help regulate menstruation and reduce heavy periods. When used in moxibustion, it moves energy out of the body and relieves pain.

Mullein

Mullein is another plant with bright yellow flowers that glow like the sun. This is traditionally burned in the Solstice fire for protection. The ashes are gathered and used in protection rituals and for healing charms throughout the year.

Mullein is best known as a cold remedy and is often combined with Elder and drank as a tea. It can also be used topically for healing dry skin. As a compress or salve, it can be used on boils, bruises, inflammation, eczema, joint pain, sciatica, and hemorrhoids. If you have an ear infection, mullein and garlic steeped oil placed in the ear will reduce pain and heal the infection.

Whether your Summer Solstice includes any casting of magic, I hope it’s a magical day. Be sure to also check out our article about Summer Solstice recipes!

Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

memorial day

It might not seem logical for Memorial Day to be something that animists observe. We already have two ancestor days – Ancestor Day and May Day. Is honoring our fallen soldiers a spiritual practice or a personal one? Is it appropriate to honor soldiers at all? If you have these thoughts, read on and see why you might choose to celebrate Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is not Ancestor Day

Ancestor Day is for remembering your dead ancestors. Memorial Day is for honoring those who died while serving their country during military combat. So Memorial Day is a way to reflect and give thanks for the sacrifice that others gave for your country. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the politics or not. It’s about the loss of life and their willingness to do this so that others didn’t have to.

It’s an Honoring of the Warrior Archetype

Many archetypal energies are widely expressed in their shadow form. The Warrior is no different, so the Warrior can get a bad rap. The shadow Warrior is either a coward who runs from the fight or the warmonger who fights dirty, wins at any cost, and annihilates the opponent – forgetting all humanity. The healthy Warrior is one who fights appropriately, fights to resolve an issue, doesn’t take it personally, and never forgets that we are all related.

When we set aside a time to reflect on the positive aspects of the Warrior archetype, it can help us to connect with our own inner warrior. This can strengthen us whether we are soldiers or not.

It’s an Honoring of Our Soldiers

War is hell. I can’t imagine the terror that our people in uniform face in their daily working lives. They go away to see and experience horrible things, and then are expected to return to civilization and fit in as if none of that were real.

It’s an unrealistic expectation. There is no reciprocity. They care for us. We don’t care for them. Veterans are underserved. They don’t have adequate health or mental health care. They don’t have the respect that they are due. Mainstream society doesn’t have rituals to purify them before they come back to the community or deal with the things that they endure on our behalf.

The warrior/tribe relationship has got to be mended. Memorial Day is for seeing and remembering what our soldiers do. The way back to wholeness is to be become a community again. We all have to be a part of any choice to do war. We have to practice seeing the “enemy” and soldiers as our brothers. I am told that this is why the Vietnamese didn’t have the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following that combat that western soldiers did.

What Can You Do?

  • Connect with your loss. Which relatives died while fighting? Light a candle for them. Say a prayer. Never forget their sacrifice or your people.
  • Tell the stories of their strength, courage, and sacrifice. True death comes with forgetting. As long as we tell their stories, they stay alive within us. Their stories are the stories of our history. As long as we acknowledge and remember our history, we can learn from it.
  • Visit a battlefield. The ghosts of so many still live here. The best way to help the unresolved dead is through love. They respond to energy. If you can be a light for the dead, do that.  Your brightness can help lift them out of darkness.
  • Show respect to our living soldiers. Even if you don’t like what they do, you can value their sacrifice.
  • Tend the dead. Maybe this means that you clean a grave. Maybe you do this by tending your ancestral altar. Do it in whatever way makes sense to you.

Connecting to the Ancestors on May Day

photographer: Faris Munandar

May Day (May 1) is upon us. That means it’s a great time for connecting to the ancestors. How do we do that? Let’s take a look.

Clean the Graves

If you know who your dead people are and where they are, May Day is a great day to visit and clean the graves. Modern people are very disconnected from death now. We send our dying to a hospital where they are cared for by strangers. They are prepared for burial by professionals. After death, their graves are dug and cared for by others.

One way to get reacquainted with the circle of life and those who have gone before us is to tend the graves of the dead. This very personal act is a very loving gesture that sends energy across the veil and let’s your dead know they still matter. They still belong to you. While you are there, if it’s permitted you can decorate the grave, sing songs, and tell stories. Treat it like a visit.

Make an Altar

We generally erect altars for temporary use in rituals and holy days. Creating an ancestor altar for May Day requires some thought and can put you in spiritual contact with your dead. Start with a table top or any flat place. Cover it with a pretty cloth. Arrange items that represent your family and can make them feel welcome. This could be photographs, flowers, foods that they used to like, trinkets that belonged to them, or statues or figurines that represent them.

Get creative. Do what feels best for you. If you feel death is another birthday and cause for celebration (as I do), you could make it very festive. Bright, happy colors and items are a way to welcome them back to visit. You might choose to burn incense or use an essential oil diffuser to give them a way to find you. Some like to offer alcohol or other drinks to help celebrate.

Interact With Them

Singing, dancing, praying, and talking with your ancestors is another way to get to know them. Call them in. If you know their names, speak them. (May Day and Ancestor Day are the only days I’d recommend doing this if you aren’t sure if they are well in spirit). Call to the ones whose names you don’t remember. Even if you don’t know them, rest assured that they know you! They want an opportunity to be recognized again and will welcome the contact.

Ask those who are well in spirit to help guide your life. They want to help. Ask them to make themselves known to you. Listen and look for evidence of that contact and trust it when it comes. They are here. They’ve always been here. May Day is one of the times when it’s easiest for both sides to communicate. So take advantage and learn how to hear them.

Feast on Traditional Foods

If you don’t eat the food of your ancestors regularly, this can be a treat for you and them. Find recipes and make food the way they made it. Savor the exotic tastes and smells. Through this experience you can invite the past to visit the present in a most delicious way. Once I had a past life regression where I experienced some medieval food. While preparing for a family medieval theme party, I happened across a very similar recipe and had some interesting de ja vu experiences. Who knows what memories might be awakened through food? But even if this doesn’t happen, food is love. What better way to honor the dead than through their food?

Get a DNA Test

If you are really curious about your ancestors, get a DNA test. This will provide you with a lot of information that may create some mysteries and clear up some old wives tales. It’s important that we don’t lose our people’s stories. If we have, it may be possible to regain them. We carry their strengths and trials within us. If we don’t know what they are, we can’t heal the wounds and can’t profit from their power and talents. Knowing our ancestors helps us to know ourselves.

Talk to Your Elders

Your elders hold valuable information about your family traditions and histories. Talk to them! Most are glad to share memories that are long forgotten. You may think you know it all, but I continue to be surprised by all that I don’t know. I’m sure your family is no different. Elders are a treasure trove of information.

Seek Information In Your Inner World

You can always have an inner reunion. If it feels right, do some sort of purification and grounding practice. Go into meditation. Create a sacred meeting place in your mind’s eye. Call to your ancestors and have a party in your inner world. Ask them questions the same way you would of your living relatives. Share what’s going on with you. Ask what you can do for them or their other descendants.

When you come out of meditation, apply discernment to the information that you get. Don’t act on anything you hear until you have proven it to be true. Sometimes we tell ourselves stories that we want to hear. It takes a while to learn discernment. Test everything until you develop an ability to trust what you receive and know how to tell the difference between delusion and a true message.

May Day is primarily a fertility holy day, but we got a request for information on how to connect with ancestors, so this article focuses on that aspect of May Day. Whatever you are doing to honor this day, we hope it is fabulous. Let us know in the comments below.

A Solo Ritual for the Promise of Spring

A Solo Ritual for the Promise of Spring

The Promise of Spring happens half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. The actual day varies a little from year to year. In 2019, it happens from sundown on February 3 to sundown on February 4.

Although all days are sacred, we mark the 8 holy days to remind ourselves to step back in the flow of Nature and give thanks. The Promise of Spring is just that. Winter is loosening it’s grasp. We see this in the crocuses that peak their heads out of the snow. The udders of sheep and goats are beginning to swell with the milk for their newborns or those that are coming soon. Although there are still no leaves on the trees, we can see the beginnings of buds that are starting to appear. The morning light appears a bit sooner and lasts a little longer. All around we see life renewing itself.

With this influx of masculine energy, we are beginning to feel the desire to get moving. This can mean that we start to clear out old clutter, move that stale energy out, and get rid of all the things that died over the winter. We’re making space for the things that spring will bring. If you used your winter well and did some meditating and contemplating, you probably have new plans. Now is the time to set them into action and plant those seeds that will blossom later.

Although most of our holy days are times for community celebration, The Promise of Spring is a smaller one, an inner one. Instead of a bonfire, there is a hearth fire or just candles. Instead of a group ritual, a solo ritual is often used or perhaps a family gathering. This is because it’s still winter. It’s probably too cold to be outside with a big bonfire. The energy of winter is still feminine, so it’s still a time of introspection.

Some themes you may wish to use as a focal point for your celebration or ritual are:

  • change – the world outside is transforming. If you allow it, this can happen for you personally too.
  • candles/fire – to represent the return of the sun
  • cleansing/purifying
  • dairy products – to represent the return of milk and kidding/lambing season
  • water – for purification
  • beginnings

Here are two solo rituals that you can either use just as they are or adapt for your own personal observation. Remember that it is more important that you observe in a way that is heartfelt and authentic to you. Simple can be just as good, or even better, than creating something elaborate.

Take a Ritual Bath

As this is a ritual bath and not just part of your daily routine, you want to make this mindful from beginning to end. This is not just to cleanse your body, but to purify your mind and spirit as well. Keep your mind focused on your intention from start to finish.

Prepare by gathering things you would like for this bath. You could use candles, meditation music, or scented oils – either within the bath or in a diffuser. An herbal sachet with purification herbs such as sage, chamomile, cinnamon, lemon balm, sandalwood, lavendar, rosemary, peppermint., epsom salts, or baking soda makes a relaxing, soothing bath. You could also choose two cups of raw apple cider vinegar or two cups of baking soda with two cups of sea salt. If you are using an altar, create something that represents the spirit and theme of the season. Put it where you can see it and be inspired by it from the bath tub.

Run the bath. Add your choice of purification additives. If you are using herbs, if you don’t have tea sachets, tie the herbs in cheesecloth and hang it from the faucet. Allow the water to run through the cloth releasing the aroma and medicine into the tub.

Light your candles. Turn on the music and diffuser, if you are using one. Sink into the tub and relax. Once you are completely relaxed, tune into any places within that seem unsettled, are ready to let go, or don’t belong there anymore. Allow this staleness, this negativity, or whatever it is that is ready to go to flow out of you and into the water. Trust that it is being cleansed by the water and the additives. When you feel “done”, leave the bath tub. Thank the water for their work on your behalf. Know that when the water drains, it will carry away everything you intended leaving you fresh and new for the Promise of Spring.

Personal Candle Ritual

At sunset, purify the space you intend to use for this ritual with sage smoke or incense. Then sage yourself. Light eight white candles and place them in a container of water. If you wish to call in your spirit helpers, gods, or any other energy, you can do so now.

Sit where you can see the flames. Stare into the flames and allow your mind to empty and tune into the energy around you. Once you are centered, meditate on your intention. You may discover answers to questions, feel things releasing, experience peace, or gain inspiration. Whatever happens, let it happen.

If it feels right, you can journal. Perhaps it feels more appropriate to chant or tone. Let whatever needs to be expressed to come out.

When it feels “done”, break your meditation. If you called in energies to support you, thank them and say goodbye. Close the sacred space by retracing your steps to took to purify the space. When you get back to the beginning, touch your hand to the ground to ground the energy back down.

If it feels safe to do so, and the candles are in a place where they will not be disturbed, allow the candles to burn until they burn out. Know that the water and flames will purify and release everything that needs to clear out so that your intention can be realized. When you dispose of the candles and water, thank them for the work that they have done on your behalf.