New Moon in Virgo September 20, 2017: Solitary Witch

Date: Wednesday September 20, 2017

Moonbeams: Witchery & Surrending

Our New Moon in Virgo features 5 planets in Virgo with some auspicious configurations for magic.

Virgo is the sign of the Virgin which is all about being one with one’s self, and not needing anyone to define you. Virgo is a very solitary sign because it spends a great deal of time alone putting up walls of reserve and solitude in order to examine the divine details from a place of quietude. This encapsulates Virgo in a pristine crystalline structure that allows Virgo to view every situation from a place of clarity and reserve. Mercury, the ruler of Virgo is still conjunct Mars meaning that even Virgo’s are having trouble trusting information coming through at this time. Thought processes have quickened, but at the expense of intuition which is the cleaning agent of Virgo. Mars opposite Neptune is distorting our dreams and wishes, so the energy is very messy and in Virgo season, this is the equivalent to hell breaking loose. Saturn squaring the New Moon is putting pressure on the New Moon to clean up this confusing mess and the Moon is freaking out blaming itself for this kerfuffle.

If we go back to the basic archetype of Virgo, it’s one of solitude and quietude. Releasing blame and self critical behaviour is the best “cleaning agent” at this time. Mercury opposite Neptune is allowing us to weave spells of magic, to use affirmations and mantras to achieve the desired results. Having a heart to heart conversation with your guides and the universe will alleviate the pressures from Mercury and Saturn at this time.

It’s time to prune your broomsticks, get out your grimoires, and polish your crystals. The greatest lesson this New Moon has to offer us is that we are not the Be All and End All. There is no shame in asking the universe for help or calling upon higher forces for assistance. Most of us have been going through some major transformations this last little while do to the eclipses, and as a result we have found that we have been putting extreme pressures upon ourselves in order to get through the changes we have been experiencing. Part of the lesson of the Mercury Mars conjunction has been about releasing control. This is one of the hardest things for Virgo to accomplish, but surrendering control by calling upon higher forces is what will allow you to see the divine in the details as opposed to just a messy situation. We cannot forget that Virgo is a Mutable Earth sign which means that changes we co-create now will have a long lasting effect. This is why Virgo is the sign of the Witch. A witch is only a person who in her centredness invokes spirit to create change.  What a better time for magic?

 

 

 

 

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The Magic of Nature: Guest Post by Molly Ringle- Author of ‘The Goblins of Bellwater’

I can’t seem to stay away from stories of magic for long. I write real-world stories sometimes too—what the book industry calls “contemporary” fiction—but before long I tend to come back to writing a story with a supernatural element. I’ve written about ghosts, Greek gods, and, most recently in The Goblins of Bellwater, goblins and other fae.

These types of folklore have always fascinated me, even though I’ve slept many nights in supposedly haunted buildings and have never seen a ghost, and have wandered along in the most enchanting of woods and never seen a faery, and (regretfully) have never met a Greek god either. (Rather than this being any comment on their actual existence, I think I’m just unobservant and too much in my own head most of the time!) Still, something about these entities feels real to me. That isn’t surprising: after all, these are the kinds of stories humans have been telling for millennia. Every culture around the world has its ghosts, fae folk, nature spirits, and divinities, many of whom may mingle and overlap with each other depending on the local belief system.

What makes these beings interesting to me, and also what makes them excellent material for stories, is that they aren’t always good or evil. They come in a variety of behaviors (like humans), and their culture and rules may not always make sense to us (again, let’s be honest: like humans!).

In The Goblins of Bellwater, I started with the inspiration of Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market,” which tells the tale of a young woman cursed by goblins, and her sister who sets out to undo the spell. The poem makes it clear that goblins are, indeed, almost totally malevolent in the Victorian world these sisters live in, or at least mischievous. Folklore tends to agree on this assessment. Goblins are usually described as rude, thieving, and fond of causing trouble, so that’s how I wrote them. But in keeping with the notion that there are many kinds of fae in the world, I also included more benign or even helpful varieties of fae living in the forests of Washington state (where I set my version of the story), to whom the two sisters might be able to turn for help.

In doing so, they need to show proper respect for the forest and the waters—in fact, for all four of the elements: fire, water, earth, and air. I enjoyed looking around at our beautiful natural landscape here in western Washington and deciding which parts of nature would be best represented by which elements, and then giving each some faery spirits to bring them further to life. Seal-like fae swim in Puget Sound in my story, air fae in the shape of hummingbirds and moths fly through the night skies, earth gnomes and glowing creepy-crawlies dig into the soil, and fireweed fae and little wildfire-dwelling dragons emerge from the flames. It’s easy to feel fear when encountering any of them, but if my characters have demonstrated their trust and love for the land, they should know they will remain safe. That is, if they can stay out of the clutching hands of those tricksy goblins!

As my characters are reminded, we modern humans with our mostly indoor lives can easily forget how much we depend on nature. But it’s not only important to remember, it’s healthy for us. Scientific studies have found that being out in the natural world has a restorative, soothing, uplifting effect on mental health. All you have to do is go be with the trees and the fresh air, appreciate them, and of course protect them so that we can all go on benefiting from them. Sounds a little like magic, don’t you think?

Molly Ringle

 

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle will be available for purchase on October 1, 2017. Don’t forget to pick up your copy!

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An Interview with Molly Ringle Author of The Goblins of Bellwater

I am honoured to be a part of the Launch Events for The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle. Please see an interview with Molly about her enchanting book down below. This was one of my favourite reads so far this year and I cannot recommend it enough!

Q & A With Molly Ringle
The Goblins of Bellwater

How closely did you follow Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” as a basis for the story?
I call this a book “inspired by” Rossetti’s poem rather than saying it’s “based upon” it, because I did veer from the poem a significant amount. I first read the poem a few years ago, and it intrigued me deeply. It’s evocative and strange, and, like a fairy tale, has many symbols and events that could be interpreted as having several different meanings. My assignment to myself was to use it as a jumping-off point for a modern paranormal novel, which would then go its own way as the plot required. What I kept from the
poem was the basic surface framework: we have a pair of sisters, grown but on the young side, one of whom becomes enchanted by eating goblin fruit in the forest and begins wasting away as a result, alarming the other sister into seeking a way to save her. Since Rossetti’s poem ends with a fast-forward to the women being “wives” and telling their children about their adventures, and since I wanted to write a paranormal romance anyway, I gave my modern sister characters a pair of men to get involved
with, in a double love story with eerie angles that I think match the eeriness of the original poem. Mind you, another interpretation of the poem is that the two women aren’t really sisters but lovers, which would be a different route to take and which I think would be lovely to see too!

For those of us who haven’t been there, what is Puget Sound like and why did you choose it as a setting for a retold fairy tale?
Puget Sound is a vast area of Pacific seawater, meandering into countless inlets and coves in skinny, deep fjords left behind by glaciers. Seattle and Tacoma and Olympia lie on its shores, on some of its largest bays, but it also has many wilder and more rural shores, especially on the western side where it backs up against a huge national forest on the Olympic Peninsula. That’s the region where my grandparents bought a vacation cabin decades ago, and where my family has been going for many vacations ever
since. I can safely say it’s one of my favorite places on Earth. In order to agree, you have to enjoy a cool, rainy climate and all the thick moss and ferns and mushrooms and huge evergreens such a climate produces, and I happen to love those things. Fairy tales, at least those from Northern Europe, almost all involve a deep dark forest. That’s where the faeries, witches, werewolves, vampires, elves, and all the other interesting beings live. Everyone knows that. I haven’t spent much time in the forests of Europe (alas! I will someday), but I reckoned our Pacific Northwest deep dark forests were more than adequate for housing supernatural creatures. My grandmother used to tell us that the mossy ruins of big tree trunks in the Puget Sound forests were the homes of Teeny-tinies, whom I always took to be faeries. So I set the story there, at the edge of the Sound, where saltwater meets woods and where the Teeny-tinies live.

What is the significance of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) in this story?
The four elements are common fixtures in many ancient cultures, and have remained popular into the modern day. One of my favorite TV shows is Avatar: the Last Airbender, which uses the four-element framework brilliantly in its world-building. In reading up on faery lore for this book, I found that scholars often classify types of fae under the four elements, and since that appealed to me, I did the same. As one of the characters in The Goblins of Bellwater muses, there’s something human and emotionally real
about looking at nature that way, even if we technically know, thanks to science, that nature contains far more than four elements. And in my novel, the only way to break the goblin spells involves respecting and trusting each of the four elements, even when they’re at their most daunting.

Why do you think fairy tale and other myth and legend re-tellings are so popular right now?
I think they’ve always been popular! Maybe it’s a case of selection bias, because I personally have always been into ghost stories, fairy tales, and other supernatural lore, but it seems to me that human culture has never stopped telling such stories. As scholars of fairy tales will tell you, reading and writing about fantasy and the paranormal may look like escapism from reality, and sometimes I tell myself that’s what
I’m doing, but in truth these stories end up giving us all the useful lessons about real life that any good stories do: empathy, courage, love, respect for nature and community, and the importance of thinking fancifully and creatively.

What are the goblins like in this book?
In keeping with both the “Goblin Market” poem and the bulk of faery lore, they are mischievous and villainous. They laugh a lot, but they are decidedly laughing at you, not with you. They steal, and in particular they lust after gold. Like other fae, they enjoy making deals with humans, but humans would be wise not to enter into such deals, as the obligation tends to be heavier than it sounds at the outset. These goblins go further than merely them, too; they assault and sometimes steal away humans and turn
them into fellow goblins, and at other times enchant them into wandering unhappily in the woods until they waste away and die. Although the goblins are sometimes amusing in their level of witty rudeness, they are nearly all amoral and highly dangerous to get involved with. Only a scant few of them, who were once humans, manage to retain any human empathy. However, not all of the fae in my book are this cruel—the goblins are the worst of the lot! Others are willing to be quite helpful to humans as long
as they are respected in return.

What kind of magic system does this book involve?
In this book, my main characters are ordinary humans who can’t do any magic, but they become involved in the dealings of the fae realm, which is a bit like another dimension. It can be entered or glimpsed by summoning the fae (which includes goblins), who might or might not answer you. But you’re luckier on the whole if they don’t, because many of them are treacherous, and the realm itself is a wilderness containing many uncanny dangers. From the point of view of the human characters, the magical rules and the cultural norms of the fae are nonsensical, almost inexplicable, but since some of
these people have fallen under curses, they have to step in among those dangers and work with the rules as best as they can anyway.

What do you find most challenging in writing a novel?
At first, it’s usually getting to know the characters. I tend to start with a general idea of who they are, but then when I begin writing, I realize there’s too much I still don’t know about these people and therefore they aren’t coming across as real yet. It slows me down in the early stages while I take breaks to write notes in which I interview them and figure them out. I also have a perennial problem with writing antagonists. They have to do fairly awful things (being antagonists and all), but I still want them to feel like real people (or other beings), and therefore I have to get into their heads and figure out why they would feel justified in doing such a thing. It’s not a comfortable place for my mind to go. I suppose that’s why I gravitate more toward romance and lightheartedness: I much prefer spending time with those who love and laugh.

What are the easiest parts of writing a novel for you?
No part of the process is exactly easy. But sometimes lines will occur to me seemingly out of nowhere when I’m writing, and they’re perfect for the moment; or I’ll find my characters talking to each other in my head when I’m not writing. And I love those moments, because for them to have come to life in my imagination like that, it means I must have done sufficient groundwork in figuring out the world and the
characters. So although the groundwork is the hard part, it pays off and leads to easier parts later!

How did the writing of this novel, a fairly short stand-alone paranormal, compare to the writing of the Persephone trilogy?
It was far simpler! The Persephone’s Orchard trilogy had dual timelines, for one thing: the ancient world in Greece, and the reincarnations of those people in the modern day. For another thing, it had far more characters, both in original and reincarnated versions. And for any series, you need to have plot arcs that stretch over the whole series as well as smaller ones that get wrapped up within each volume; and you have to keep the whole thing internally consistent in terms of mood and themes and character personalities. It turned out exhausting enough that I didn’t want to write another series again anytime soon. So I picked The Goblins of Bellwater as my follow-up project: small cast, straightforward plot, and simple timeline. Most of the action takes place within about six weeks, in this small town, which is indeed a contrast to the millennia of world-spanning events covered in the trilogy!

Would you want to live in any of the fictional magical worlds you’ve created?
Strange though it might sound, I’d love to visit the Underworld as I wrote it in Persephone’s Orchard and its sequels. I made it much less scary, for the most part, than it is in traditional Greek mythology; and besides that, I love caves and glowing things, and definitely would be interested in a ride on a ghost horse as long as an immortal was keeping me safe during it. As for the fae realm we see in The Goblins of Bellwater, I’d like to catch glimpses of it, and of the fae themselves, but I wouldn’t want to actually enter
the realm. Too perilous!

What are you writing next?
One of the genres I love, and haven’t written enough of myself, is male/male love stories, so I’ve been working on a couple of those. One is contemporary, no magic or supernatural stuff, and it’s undergoing the feedback-and-revision stage right now. Another will involve a fae realm like that of The Goblins of Bellwater, only in a new location in the world, a fictional setting I’m creating. I stoll have to figure out how
this place works and what its magic system is like, in addition to getting to know the characters, but I’m excited about the idea and it has definitely taken root in my brain.

What are the most magical places you’ve been to in real life?
Puget Sound and its surrounding forests and mountains—which is why I chose the area for the enchanted lands in The Goblins of Bellwater. Also some of the forests and meadows in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, where I grew up. Oregon and Washington are both overflowing with natural beauty and I’m spoiled to have spent most of my life here. In addition, some places in Great Britain have felt quite magical to me, such as Tomnahurich (Hill of the Fairies) in Inverness, Scotland; or Old Town Edinburgh with its many close alleys and dark medieval buildings and brick-paved streets; or Westminster Abbey, not only because of its beauty and its many graves of astoundingly famous historical figures, but because when I first visited it as a 19-year-old, I’d never been in any building anywhere near that old before (having grown up in the Pacific Northwest), and it blew my mind.

Full Moon in Pisces September 6, 2017: A Crystal Ball

Date: September 6, 2017

Moonbeams: Cosmic Clarity, Come gaze into my crystal ball……..

That which becomes real looking through a crystalline sphere swirling with cosmic stardust clouds using the Virgo tools of analysis to pick apart your vision which is already perfection.  We are all still reeling from the effects of the August Eclipses which many will feel up to 6 months. Every year we have an important lunation in Pisces in September to soften the rational energies of Virgo. Virgo processes all that we cannot see, and with its polarity being Pisces- that which we cannot see is actually crystal clear at this time.

Crystalline Knowledge of You

The Full Moon in Pisces will be conjunct Neptune adding a dreamy fog to this starry night. Active dreaming will be the easiest way to make it through the thick of the fog. Dreams might be coming true for you, psychic readings will be extremely accurate, intuitive abilities will be on point. What you are seeing at this time is your reality re-imagined through a Piscean crystal lense. The language of the universe are codes and symbols and what better time to decode all of these message than through some heavy Virgo energy this month. We must keep in mind that the ruler of Virgo- Mercury will be stationing direct in Virgo a day or so before the Full Moon and will be conjunct Mars for most of the month. Your processing abilities will be on fire, but in order to keep your mechanic self in check you must remember that the intuitive and fantastical downloads you are receiving at this time are already perfected. There’s no need to pick apart every little detail and try to make sense of what you are seeing and feeling. The energies at this Full Moon are simply fragments of knowledge about yourself that are appearing from a place of purity (Virgo) after the energetic portals we entered during the eclipses.  The Full Moon in Pisces is a crystal ball that contains your iridescent self and future. What will you see?

New Moon Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017: A Coronation

There is a lot of fear mongering being perpetuated by many Astrologers for the ‘Great American Eclipse.’ The last time a Solar Eclipse’s shadow darkened the the United States & Canada (to a lesser degree) was 99 years ago. According to Babylonian Astrology this is a very bad omen, and one should not watch the eclipse. You should wake up before sunrise and go to bed before sunset to avoid the negative energy. There is also a lot of conspiracy theories buzzing around about President Trump’s natal chart and life being directly affected by this eclipse as well. I won’t get political in my interpretation of the Solar Eclipse, rather, I would like to share a very concise analysis of what each of us may experience.

If the Crown Fits

If you are a Leo ascendant or have the North Node in Leo, you will feel this eclipse the strongest. You will experience a major transformation, as eclipses bring karmic events. Everyone else will see developments in their life, but this is not a major ascension point or life shattering event. The United States and some parts of Canada will be darkened, but this is actually an extremely important time for self reflection. Every single person is a luminary. Some lights are dimmer and brighter than others, but WE, humanity, are what illuminates the darkness. With Mars in Leo, the Moon’s North Node in Leo, and the Sun in Leo, there is a call to stand up for what we believe in. The house that Leo rules in your natal chart will show you where you have the opportunity to break free from group conditioning (Aquarius). Maybe it’s your second house, which will mean some important developments will happen surrounding emancipation from financial dependency. Perhaps it’s your seventh house which will allow you to stop self sacrificing your wants and needs. So long as you are able to handle these changes like a true royal (Leo) with grace and poise, your crown will fit.

Planetary

In the days following the Solar Eclipse, Venus will square Uranus which means we will be making some important decisions regarding our values, relationships, money, and most importantly self worth.  Venus will be in Cancer, so there will be a strong inclination to make a non-traditional (Uranus) decision regarding your sense of security and comfort.

-Mars in Leo sextile Jupiter in Libra

This aspect is about making passionate decisions regarding your authenticity. How can you be more of yourself?

-Mars in Leo trine Saturn in Sagittarius

When we know how we can live from a place of authenticity, we have the opportunity to make real long lasting change.

-Mercury Retrograde- all outer planets in Retrograde

Anytime a planet goes retrograde, confusion always takes hold. This is a cosmic test to see if we are able to “see” through all of the confusion. The more we live from a place of realness, the easier it will be to make it through the fog.

Your Coronation

We are each attending our own coronations at this time. We are all being forced to sit on the throne. There are parts of our lives that are coming to the forefront and we must be ready to lead those kingdoms and queendoms. With the New Moon Solar Eclipse being a particularly black new moon- we must remember that all the light we cannot see is within…….and those being your crown of jewels.

Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius- August 7, 2017: The Invention of You

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

This is the story of an orphaned boy who lives in a Paris train station repairing the clocks. All he has is an Automaton his father left him before he perished in a fire. Hugo believes the Automaton (Aquarius) contains a message from his father but is missing a heart shaped key in order to unlock the message. Hugo is reclusive (Aquarius) and has no friends, but one day a chance meeting with a girl at the train station who happens to be wearing a heart (Leo) shaped key necklace sets them off on adventure to unlock the Automaton (Aquarius). Once the Automaton (Aquarius) is unlocked, it reveals an image of a scene from a film called ‘A Trip to the Moon’ (Eclipse). I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but I feel it is the perfect representation of this Aquarius Lunar Eclipse. Connecting to with others might very well be the key to the answers you seek. Bringing 3 unconnected parts of yourself together Unconscious (Moon) Practical (Earth) Higher Self (Sun) to create a master version of yourself is the greatest invention of all time. 

 

Things are coming to a tail end (South Node) so to speak from the February eclipses. Eclipses are times of dramatic completions, and are vortices of manifestation.

A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun casting an earthly shadow on the Moon. The Moon represents our emotions, subversive nature, our unconscious, our happiness, and our incarnation imprint. When the Earth’s shadow eclipses the Moon- what we feel becomes grounded into practical reality. We take all of those elusive Moony qualities and turn them into the brick and mortar of our life.

The Full Moon Eclipse is occurring in Aquarius which rules the 11th house. The 11th house is connected to our peers, social groups, hopes, wishes, and our tribe. We will all be faced with the truth of whether we are sacrificing our identity to fit in, or are we soooo different that we are losing out on opportunities to connect? Aquarius rules all that is different, innovative, unique, inventive, surprises, and thoughtful. The negative expressions are detachment and irresponsibility. A key lesson to learn from the Eclipse is let go (South Node) of that which is inhibiting your progress (Aquarius) and to embrace that which will allow you to be YOU. The Lunar Eclipse is going to show you the full potential of your interactions with others- regardless of where this Eclipse is happening in your natal chart. 

Aspects:

Jupiter in Libra which is all about meaningful connections will be trine this Eclipse suggesting that there is a need to widen your social interactions.

Mars in Leo Conjunct Sun in Leo- need to stand out. Remember- when you are yourself, everyone notices you!

Image result for the invention of hugo cabret quotes

 

*Featured Image is from the 1902 film by Georges Méliès, ‘A Trip to the Moon.’

3rd House & Neighborhoods

Since I am in the process of moving, I have been reflecting on the types of neighborhoods I have lived in over the years and the types of neighbors I have had. In Astrology this can be seen from the 3rd House which rules neighbors and neighborhoods and precedes the 4th House which is your home. If you know the sign that rules your 3rd house, you can look down below to learn more.

Aries 3rd House- Neighbors might be argumentative, red brick houses, military families, tension.

Taurus 3rd House- nature, fancy homes, expensive homes or cars, lots of cooking smells, neighbors were workaholics.

Gemini 3rd House- variety of different people from different walks of life, no longevity in any neighborhood, gossipy neighbors.

Cancer 3rd House- very attached to neighborhood, lots of families, helpful, solidarity.

Leo 3rd House- close to neighbors, entertainment nearby- perhaps a theatre, active member of the community, warm place to live- no real problems.

Virgo 3rd House- You know details about your neighbors, very observant neighbors, people keep to themselves, cautious, clean for the most part.

Libra 3rd House- lots of neighborhood friends, beautiful neighborhood, people were friendly, everyone probably knew your name.

Scorpio 3rd House- tension, seedy people, crime, nosy neighbors.

Sagittarius 3rd House- multicultural, might have lived in many different places, white collar, might have been a church nearby.

Capricorn 3rd House- no attachment to neighborhood, blue collar, private neighbors.

Aquarius 3rd House- never felt like you fit in in your neighborhood, noisy, nervous energy, people might have come and gone a lot.

Pisces 3rd House- live near water, hazy-might not have clear memories, might have been able to see past the facade of the neighbors and neighborhood.