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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New Moon in Sagittarius

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Last night, as I was preparing the altar for New Moon circle, there was a fretful energy in the house as my oldest kid retired to her room to study for her finals. It’s her first year in high school, and the sheer amount of material she'll be tested on next week, feels overwhelming to her. She took a break to go to her sister's holiday choir concert, and to hand me her wish list. But until her last paper is turned in next Thursday, the happy holiday season is deferred.

The altar is dressed in royal blue silk, with a deep blue candle and cobalt glass stars to symbolize the night sky, and also to honor Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, the generous God. As I listen to my kid groan over my computer, I am reminded that Sagittarius is a sign of learning and teaching, of professorship and the love of knowledge. I know that the joy of the upcoming Winter holiday season has so much to do with that Salutatorian optimism and joviality. I also know that that last push of school work, the ratcheting up of pressure to get all the work in on time, is not limited to my kids.

With the Winter Solstice looming, the sense that time is growing short creeps in. There's all the work and planning going towards the holidays themselves, and the attendant expense and effort. There's celebrations, parties, and events to get to, rituals to plan, just at the moment when the cold, the stormy weather and the early dark make us want to hibernate =, to retreat into our dens with our comforts. Right now, it's barely 4:30 and the snow and dense clouds are closing out the day in deep, inky twilight. But the activity continues, inside the house, as one kid feverishly types up a final paper, and the other kid works on mysterious projects behind a closed door, and I feel the light of Solstice in this dark moonless night, creeping into my New Moon observance, reminding me all the things I must get done before next weekend.


The Sun and Moon are joined, this New Moon, by the planet Saturn. Saturn and Jupiter are not the most harmonious energies to try and mix, Jupiter's expansive optimism being at odds with Saturn's restrictive, austere nature. Saturn's presence tells us where our lessons lie, and in Sagittarius,we are called upon to be disciplined and rigorous in our intellectual lives, we are called to account for the ways in which e have challenged ourselves to grow, achieve and aspire, ad the ways we failed to do so. Coming as we approach the end of the calendar year, when our culture encourages us to look back at what we experienced, what we lost and what was gained. It feels very much like preparing for a final exam, to show what we learned, to assess what we were able to glean out of a year's experience, good and bad.  

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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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