November’s Full Moon falls on the 12th at 13.36 GMT on the 20th degree of Taurus, with the Sun on the opposite 20th degree of Scorpio. A Full Moon makes us aware of something, with the Sun (consciousness), illuminating the Moon (unconscious). The previous New Moon fell on October 28th, at 03.40 GMT on the 5th degree of Scorpio.
One name for this moon is Mourning Moon. As the days grow shorter and it becomes colder, we mourn the sun’s passing and wonder if he will return. With the sun seemingly dying, this moon reminds us that death is just a normal part of the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth. For some early Celts, November was the beginning of the new year, and so this time is also about new beginnings following on from a death or ending.
The Mourning Moon is a time of cleansing. Acknowledge and let go of fears and the worries that are holding you back and the bad habits that are negatively affecting your mental, physical and emotional health, give yourself permission to mourn their passing and start a fresh for a happier new year. Sweep through your home, work-place, relationships, mental, spiritual and emotional baggage, clearing anything no longer necessary or helpful. Think of ways to replace these with, positive and supportive thoughts, behaviours, people, items etc.
This moon is often referred to as Beaver Moon in the USA. During this month, beavers are very active, working hard on dam construction, and therefore this was a good time to hunt them and harvest their fur to make warm winter clothing to keep from freezing during the extreme cold of winter.
Take time to look back at what you have accumulated this year, think if and how it is helpful to you and clear away anything or anyone that is detrimental to your well-being (not just someone/something you have temporarily fallen out with!). What will you let go of to make room for something more beneficial? What must you do to ensure your safety and comfort this winter?
Fourth thoughts on Samhain; Winter Goddess, the Cailleach
This is the time of the Cailleach who ushers in the cold and dark at Samhain and maintains it until Imbolc. The Cailleach Bheaur, the blue hag of winter, scours the land. In Scottish folklore the Cailleach arises every Samhain and is responsible for bringing cold, snow and treacherous weather before turning to stone every Imbolc (or in other myths she turns into a young woman). She walks the land during winter (or rides a grey wolf), striking the ground/trees with her staff, crushing signs of growth. Her staff (slachdan) holds the power of cold, darkness and winter. At the start of the light half of the year (Beltane), she hurls her slachdan to the base of the (evergreen) Holly or Gorse, storing her power of the cold and dark there until the following winter.
She is both feared and respected in British and Irish folklore and takes the role of midwife and particularly at this time as layer out of the dead. An old Scottish tradition says that the head of a Scottish household carved the face of the Cailleach Nollaigh (Christmas Old Wife) onto Oak wood; representing cold and death. This was thrown onto the fire on Christmas Eve, ensuring death would bypass the house during the coming year.
Third thoughts on Samhain- Associations
Samhain has many items associated with it, with the now ubiquitous pumpkin instead of the traditional turnip or suede, which was harder to carve. Any of these correlations can be used to decorate your home during this time.
Animals: Cat, Crow, Deer, Raven, Reindeer, Sow (pictures or carvings are easier to manage than the real thing!)
Colours: Black, Orange, Purple, White
Flowers: Marigolds, Chrysanthemums, Rose Hips
Foods: Apples, Bread, Chestnuts, Garlic, Gourds, Honey, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Salt, Wine (burnt as offering)
Incense/Smudge: Bay. Frankincense, Mugwort, Myrrh, Patchouli
Symbols: Antlers, Arrowheads, Bones, Hammer, Skeleton, Skull, Stones, Sword
Tree: Elder, Ivy, Moss, Yew
Here is a list of some things to do during Samhain.
• carve a turnip or pumpkin, to make a lantern
• de-clutter your home or work-space
• make a reading of cards or cast stones
• hold a dumb supper – set a place at your table for loved ones that have passed
• extinguish all fires/light except the bonfire (bone-fire), then light a torch from this to light your home
• hold a family gathering
• light a black candle and meditate on the past – what was done, what was not, how it would have been different, where to go now
• make a mask
• place food outside for passing spirit
• plant seeds (of a new idea, project etc)
• put a candle in a window to guide the souls/spirits
• release anything unwanted, give away items or write thoughts or feelings down to burn the paper in the Samhain fire
• remembering those who have died with photos, stories, items etc.
• make a scrying with a crystal, mirror or water
• visit barrows, standing stones (at night)
Second thoughts on Samhain; as Spirit Night
The leaves have fallen from the trees, many flowers have wilted, the time for fruits and nuts is past, nature begins to recede and decay, which is all necessary for the cycle of life to continue. Nature succinctly demonstrates the decay, death and rebirth cycle. The festival of Samhain celebrates the death of the god, who will be reborn at Yule and also the goddess, Mother Nature, who protects him. Also, it is the time of the Cailleach – more of whom next time.
Here we look at Samhain as a time to remember those who have passed on, both recently and over eons. It is said that the ‘veil’ that hides this world from other realities is at its thinnest at Samhain (and less so at Beltane and Litha). Therefore, it is the best time for those this side to try to connect with other realities and particularly to reach loved ones who have passed. Also, Samhain it is a time for those who have passed to seek to connect this side with family or friends, or just other humans at this time of the year, for good or not so good reasons.
Many people set a place at their table for their loved ones that have passed that year or leave an offering of food and drink on the door-step for those souls that may still wander. This extract tells of the Mexican tradition. ‘An important part of the tradition of Dia de Muertos is the manner which we invite the spirit of our relatives to come and visit us. It is customary to form a path from the other worlds to this one, by scattering the petals of the beautiful zempoaxochitl, the Marigold flower, from the cemetery or the street to the altar inside our home. The zempoaxochitl symbolizes the rays of the Sun and the impermanence of life. With its multi-dimensional light, it forms a road that guides our ancestors and loved ones back to us, to visit and once again enjoy their favourite foods such as mole, tamales, pan dulce, cerveza, even cigarettes. They “eat” the ofrendas we’ve prepared for them by inhaling the aromas of the food and the drinks. Some families eat the ofrendas that are fresh and safe to eat on November 3rd; others will place them outside as an offering for our animal relations.’ (from Curanderismo, the Healing Art of Mexico)
It is the night of the Wild Hunt, lead by various strong and fearful people, differing according to traditions. For example, Gwyn ap Nudd, accompanied by his white owl, his white horse Du, and his favourite hound, Dormach, who eats the dead or negative energy or of Holda, patroness of spinners, who also leads the Wild Hunt and from whom snow comes from her shaking her feather bed. The Hunt and rituals are often now celebrated through the commercialised Americanised ‘Halloween’, with skeletons, zombies, vampires and ghosts, who go trick or treating.
First thoughts on Samhain (sow-in). Samhain means ‘summer’s end’ and one tradition says it takes place at the full moon nearest the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, however the ‘fixed’ date is usually acknowledged to be October 31st – 2nd November. The Sun sign is Scorpio; fixed water. It is both the third Harvest and the Greatest of the Spirit Nights, after Beltane and Litha, more of the later in the next post.
The third Harvest after the grains, then the fruits, is the meat harvest; the time to hunt or slaughter animals to be preserved for the winter. A poor harvest now would mean a difficult time for all, and the vulnerable tribe members, the very young, old or infirm, would not see the winter out.
Samhain is often seen as the end of the pagan year; ‘A year is finished, a year begins’. It brings death (of animals), decay (of plants) and potential difficult days (lack of food or fuel over the winter); not the best of times then, but it is also the time to be together, to look after each other and tell stories around the fire of people and events long past and so family/tribal traditions and myths are perpetuated.
It is a time to celebrate and rest after the hard work of bringing in the harvest. For now there is enough to eat, the harvest is in, all are warm and safe, and the rigours of winter are still a way off. Later weeks provide time for thinking of plans for the spring.
What stories would you pass on to your family/tribe? What ‘harvest’ can you celebrate? What will you sacrifice to help those around you? Who or what, will you help this winter? What thoughts are waiting in the depths to emerge into plans for the spring?
Essence Therapy uses Flower, Crystal and other Vibrational Essences that facilitate healing by gently releasing unhelpful, buried emotions and thought patterns, which are used unconsciously to create who we think we are and how we react to situations and to people. They help by bringing the emotional and mental states into a natural balance.
Each essence contains the energetic imprint of a specific flower, tree, crystal, colour, light, environment etc. and is maintained in a preservative, usually an alcohol. The energies ‘captured’ provide a positive balancing force, which in a gentle and natural way help to release the energetic patterning of old thoughts, attitudes and emotional issues that no longer serve you. This re-patterning effects change at a causal level bringing harmony and balance to emotions, mind and spirit. Essences can be used in any situation where there is a lack of well-being in some aspect of your life, be that emotional, mental or spiritual.
During an Essence Consultation the practitioner will chat with you about what is happening in your life, how you would like it to be and what is preventing you achieving your aims. S/he will then make up a personalised Essence bottle for you, using the Essences that will best aid you. S/he may use a pendulum, muscle testing or her/his own intuition or logic to choose the appropriate blend of Essences.
Unlike chemical drugs which suppress symptoms, Vibrational Essences are catalysts for emotional change, and work by stimulating awareness. Most people feel clearer, calmer, or better able to cope. Often it is the comments of others close to us which first alerts us to changes taking place e.g. ‘you seem calmer, more focused, happier, less afraid etc.’
The easiest way to use an Essence is place drops on the pulse points e.g. wrists or on the area affected by the mental or emotional imbalance e.g. on the temple for easing a headache (NB not to an open wound). Or, place drops in the bath before soaking in it, on a radiator or light bulb or spray the environment, aura or specific areas.
Essences can be used in conjunction with, and as a complement to, any other form of medical or complementary treatment. However, if you are have any concerns please consult your GP. Essences should not to be used in cases of psychosis, schizophrenia and similar, as the underlying pathology is not just a ‘simple’ psychological imbalance.
If you are allergic to an individual flower, do not ingest them and if you are intolerant to alcohol please consult your Essence practitioner who may make you an Essence with another preservative.
MHC offers Essence Therapy and has essences and sprays for sale. For more information ask for Jane who is a Member of the British Flower and Vibrational Essences Association and is based at Mintlaw Holistic Centre.
© Jane Morris Mintlaw Holistic Centre
Crystal Therapy gently removes blockages and clears the energetic flow through the body, by releasing stress and pain and promoting energy balance within the physical and subtle bodies thus bringing a sense of peace and well-being on all levels. Various crystals and minerals are placed on or around the fully clothed client on sites of pain, imbalance, on chakras or meridians, or a crystal pendulum, wand or other shapes may be used.
Crystals can hold and emit energy vibrations. They affect our electro-magnetic energy fields (subtle bodies) which surround and permeate the physical body, (aura). Crystals absorb, focus, direct and diffuse our energy fields, enabling an out of balance energy to find its natural balanced rhythm again.
The individual crystals chemical make-up, colour and shape all help to define their energetic vibration and how it releases this; increasing or decreasing the energy flow, focussing it on a specific point etc. to bring the levels of the body back into balance and working at their optimum capacity.
Crystal Therapy can aid those who are suffering physically, mentally, emotional or spiritually, by promoting relaxation, releasing pain and blocks on all levels, enhancing confidence and self-esteem, encouraging mental clarity bringing a sense of peace and centredness.
Using a Crystal Essence or carrying, wearing or having crystals near can continue the healing begun in the Crystal Therapy session. These are available from MHC as is Crystal Therapy, either a 30 or 60 minute session. Please enquire for details.
Chakra Balancing gently releases unhelpful energies from the chakra system, cleansing and returning it to balance, restoring a harmonious flow of energy throughout the system. It brings a feeling of wellbeing, relaxation, centeredness, and increased vitality by using a combination of tools and techniques. Tools that may be worked with include small Broom Brush, Wood Wands, Crystals, Aura Spray, Drum, Rattle, Tingshas, Singing Bowl, whilst techniques may include Reiki, Breath and Affirmations.
Conditions that Chakra Balancing benefits include; tiredness and generalised low energy, unbalanced emotions, low mood, unhelpful thoughts, lack of confidence, feeling nervous or anxious, feeling put upon by others, being over-bearing, angry, unable to express yourself clearly, unable to think clearly, lack of trust in yourself, others or the universe and more…
Chakra Balancing is available at MHC, either as a 30, or 60 minute session.
Posted by Mintlaw Holistic Centre
The aura interacts constantly with the energy of others and our surroundings and can absorb some of that energy, whether it is helpful or harmful to us. Also, our own thoughts and emotions affect our auras, constantly changing them, as does what we eat, drink or otherwise absorb into our body. The positive or unhelpful effects of these stimuli depend on what and how much our aura connects with or absorbs. Too much unhelpful or harmful energies contained in our aura may result in feeling tired, depressed, unbalanced, anxious or physically or mentally ill. Cleansing and then protecting our aura is an essential aid to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
There are many ways to cleanse and protect the aura, either for yourself or via a therapist.
Visualise a Body of Light
Walk in Nature in the Sunlight
Smudge yourself or a space
MHC offers a 30-minute Aura Cleansing that gently releases unhelpful energies from your aura, cleansing and restoring the auric layers to balance and protecting them through a combination of tools and techniques. Also, MHC has hand-made Aura Cleansing Sprays to use at home.
Last night’s New Moon was a Super New Moon, which is when the New Moon is around the closest point to Earth (perigee). The next Super Moon is expected on 9th March 2020 with another on 8th April 2020.
The New Moon sets the tone until the Full Moon a fortnight later which is seen as the ‘result’ of how we all expressed the promise or potential of the New.
New Moon (aka Dark Moon), lasts around three days. It ends the darkness and begins the returning light to the Moon. She cannot be seen until a thin crescent of light is visible, as she rises and sets with the Sun at this time. The New Moon phase is the time to begin thinking of taking action. It encourages new beginnings, for starting new projects and for any ritual work to draw things to you. (The trick, of course is to keep the momentum going!)
What ideas and plans will you set in motion? What will you draw towards you?