Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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Birch Moon Meditation : for the January Full Moon

This is the guided meditation I always do on the first full moon of the year:

Close your eyes, sink into your body, breathe.

Begin in a safe place, one that is known and familiar to you, and then move forward, into the North. Find yourself walking in a dark forest, in the depth of a Winter's night. All around you are dark trees, as you crunch through the snowy path. The full moon is very high, and makes the snow around gleam and radiate. Lining the path are tall, bare white birch trees which glow in the moonlight.

As you follow this path, you are aware you are moving slightly upward, as if ascending a long hill, going steadily up the wooded slope to ridge-line far ahead.

It is bitterly cold, and your breath freezes in front of you, yet you only feel exhilaration and sharp awareness. As you move through the trees you perceive the dark shadows of animals moving in the same direction, heading up the hill, moving silently through the dark pines and bright birch trees. Animal allies may come forward to meet you on the path, or you may feel yourself becoming an animal as you move through the forest. Take note of who appears to you.

The sky is inky dark and full of stars, but as you approach the ridge you notice the sky is becoming lighter,. To the East the stars are winking out of sight, as the vault of Heaven begins to turn dove gray and twilight blue. The Moon is high and the Sun is not yet up when you reach the ridge, and look ahead, into a huge white valley, where everything is hushed and blanketed in deep snow.

In the cold stillness, what do you hear? The wind, old leaves rustling, the stirrings of animals? Are there any birds to sing in this frozen dawn? Look out into the valley, and notice here and there, tiny fires are burning, denoting hearths or campfires. These lights cast a warm glow in a frozen, silent landscape.

Each of these fires, still distant and mysterious, represents some vital aspect of your year to come. At each of these fires, new possibilities and abiding dreams await the growing light and energy to blossom and flourish. Choose one of these fires, and look directly at it. Project yourself there, to those flames, to that hearth-side. What do you notice about this place? Take in the sights, sounds and smells of this one fire that you have chosen to look at most carefully. What clues do you see around you? What hints and intimations are present? Can you see the shape of the year to come, the work to be done, the pleasures to enjoy? Take note of anything you can, then project yourself back, back to the snowy ridge overlooking valley. Breathe and radiate gratitude for the gifts you were shown. Commit to memory and breathe into whatever you need to remember.

 

When you are ready, turn back down the path, and head down. It is lighter now. Does the forest seem very different to you? Return to your beginning place, and from there back to your safe space. Breathe until you have returned to your body. Write down any thoughts or insights from the journey for future reference.

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Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.

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