Missed Connections

While likes and follows are very much appreciated, monthly software expenses, seller fees, and time away from my family can’t be justified by them. I’ll be continuing to reduce my online presence (read: expenses) to a more manageable amount. Thanks for reading.

Mental Health Matters

Support for your wellbeing

Mental health awareness is an important cause I support. People in the LGBTQIA+ community tend to experience more challenges to their mental health–there is hope and more people are becoming allies every day. I believe all people should be free to love safely and consensually. As a person who experiences major depressive disorder, adult ADD, insomnia (onset, latency, and early awakening), and anxiety, I understand that sometimes it’s difficult to get through a situation or through the day. It can also be hard to speak up and get help.

Below, I’m sharing a few resources for your wellbeing, emotional health, and mental illness support, including help for loved ones of persons experiencing challenges to their mental wellness.

Start here with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Support and Education.

Need Help Now? Emergency Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK or tap to call 800-273-8255

Trans Lifeline
US tap to call (877) 565-8860

SAMHSA National Helpline
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
1-800-662-HELP or tap to call 800-662-4357

For allies and loved ones of people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Non-binary, and more on the gender spectrum

Free & Discounted Therapy for Frontline and Essential Workers

Coronavirus Online Therapy
Pro-bono or low-fee online sessions with a therapist for frontline and essential workers

Talkspace Online Counseling
Text, audio or video calls with a licensed therapist. Download the Talkspace app and register with your NPI and/or work badge for 50% off your first month.

Easy Wheel of the Year Intro

Earth-based holidays, a primer

Welcome to my basic introduction to the earth-based feast days. These days, frequently called Sabbats, are organized into a round calendar called the Wheel of the Year. Below you’ll find links to more details for each one. Why are we talking about the Wheel of the Year? Many people report feeling that time is “slipping away” from them.

Observing the moon phases gives us visual weekly and monthly markers of time, while celebrating the Sabbats helps us to mark the passage of the seasons in a meaningful way. Personally, I find I experience fewer symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder when I plan low-key Winter celebrations instead of just staring blankly at dead plants.

Wicca and other earth-based traditions are approximate reconstructions of what we believe to be the ancient customs of multiple societies. This creates differences in how and when we choose to honor the feast days. Below, common Wheel of the Year dates and themes are listed. I’ve also included the nationally-recognized or Christian holidays that coincide with or are similar to each Sabbat.

To learn more about each feast day, please visit the “Wheel of the Year Sabbat Calendar” from the Celtic Connection. You’ll find useful bits of history, interesting lore, and traditional ways to celebrate, including recipes.

As with most things, I recommend a relaxed approach to if, how, and when you celebrate that works well for you. I observe the holidays I choose on the best date for me that’s closest to the original date. I’ve worked night shifts for 5+ years, so I observe the holidays I choose on the date that works best for me.


Equinox: Date when days and nights are of equal length, occurs twice a year in March and September
Solstice: 2 points each year when the Sun is furthest from the Earth, occurs in June and December
More on Equinoxes and Solstices at timeanddate.com


Image Credit: ZennedOut.com

Imbolc (St. Brigid’s Day Feb. 1st, Candlemas Feb. 2nd)
Themes: Growth and renewal, blessing the seeds of life, the Maiden
February 1st-2nd

Ostara, Eostara, Lady Day, Vernal or Spring Equinox (Easter, Feast of Annunciation)
First day of Spring
Themes: Fertility (represented by eggs and rabbits), conception, newborn animals
March 20th

Beltane, Beltaine (May Day)
Themes: Weddings/ handfastings, sexual union, passion, joy
May 1st

Litha, Summer Solstice (Feast of St. John)
First day of Summer, longest day of the year
Themes: Height of growth, abundant greenery
June 20th-22nd

Lughnasadh (Lammas)
Theme: First Harvest, abundance, grain and apples
July 31st-August 1st

Mabon, Autumnal Equinox, Cornucopia (Thanksgiving)
Themes: 2nd Harvest, cider and wine, corn and root vegetables
First day of Autumn
September 20th-23rd

Samhain, 3rd Harvest, Feast of the Dead (Halloween)
Themes: Honoring ancestors, divination, the Crone
October 31st

Yule, Winter Solstice (Christmas)
First day of Winter, longest night of the year
Themes: Immortality (represented by evergreen trees), hope for the lengthening days of the year
December 20th-21st


More to Love

“Wheel of the Year Sabbat Calendar” from the Celtic Connection

WHAT IS THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR & HOW TO USE IT // WITH FREE PRINTABLE” at ZennedOut.com

5 Steps to a Quick Yes/ No from Your Cards

How to get a definitive answer from your Tarot deck–fast

Before we get started, you need to know that I’m telling it like it is today. If you’re in some kind of waffling Cancer or Gemini feelings right now, look out, lest you get got by the post below.

Today we’re diving deeper into a topic we discussed in the email list recently. Read on to learn how to get your answer quickly from the Tarot, even if you’re not familiar with all 78 card meanings. (Note: like many Tarot exercises and spreads, this also works well with a Lenormand deck. Using an oracle deck may be trickier if the deck has what you’d consider mostly positive answers.)

But first, who won’t benefit from using the method below:

  • You, if you’ve already made up your mind.
  • You, if you don’t like the first answer you get from your deck so you assume it’s wrong.
  • You, if you tell your significant other you don’t know what you want to eat and you really don’t care where you go for dinner but then you veto their first pick. Yep. I said it.

Read through these steps before you begin, especially step #4!, so you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Begin with step 1 for this to actually work. After you’ve tried this a time or two, it’ll take you less than a minute to get your instant answer.

  1. Make sure you have a clear question.
    If you were to ask your question out loud, could someone answer with just the word yes or the word no? (Sounds basic, I know, but we all do this sometimes! Reading the Tarot with an unclear question leaves you confused or feeling like you need to draw a clarifying card–don’t.)
  2. Grab your deck, holding your cards facedown, and shuffle while focusing on your question.
    Repeating your question to yourself as you shuffle focuses your energy and prepares you for your answer.
  3. Pick ONE card.
    Do not check the bottom of the deck, do not peek at the card below the one you drew–commit!
  4. Turn your card over. Note your FIRST reaction or the FIRST thing you see. Is it positive or negative?
    This is positive or negative to you, not to your mom or your best friend or anyone else. Even if your reason for that reaction feels silly. You asked for an answer and this is how you’re receiving it.
  5. Your first reaction IS your answer.
    Don’t second guess, don’t go with the next thing you see, don’t rationalize that you should’ve actually grabbed that other card ’cause really it’s maybe just…No. Save yourself the trouble. If you already knew what you wanted to do, trust yourself.

Now, here’s why you must go with your first answer. When you begin relying on your intuition, the way to improve your intuitive sense and the way to ruin it are two sides of the same coin. Honor your self by following the first answer you receive, and you’ll sharpen your intuition, receiving clearer answers faster. Reject your first answer and you reject everything you were just reaching for–your understanding of your best path, your access to your own higher wisdom, and your cards as a vehicle for instant answers.

The more you flex this intuition-trusting muscle, the stronger it becomes. *lowers shades in your direction* That means following the first answer you get.

Congratulations, you now have your own decision-making compass of sorts! Enjoy.

PS . While this quick yes/ no draw is great for snap decisions, you can also find Tarot spreads for weighing your options on my Learn + Freebies page.

Full Moon Names by Month

Native American Full Moon Names

Most of the commonly accepted full moon names used in North America are derived from the names given by Native American tribes, specifically the Eastern Cherokee. You may already know that many of those names describe what’s happening in nature and agricultural practices around that time of year, like the February Snow Moon. The moon names also reflect Anglo-Saxon influence.

Based on a Native American tribe’s location, their full moon names may reflect behaviors of animals native to that area, such as the Northern Arapaho’s March full moon “Buffalo dropping their calves” (references listed below post). Due to differing weather patterns depending upon location, certain plants are best planted or harvested in the previous or following month. For example, the Flower Moon is primarily in May, but for some tribes it fell in June.

This month-shifting can also occur when the full moon is named for another astronomical event, such as the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon nearest the Autumn Equinox. In 2 out of 3 years, the Harvest Moon occurs in September (in 2020, the Harvest Moon fell in early October). Learn more about how the full moons got their names at “Traditional Full Moon Names” from timeanddate.com.

Below, I list the most commonly-used names for each full moon by month (along with a few other interesting names), their 2021 dates for the US, and the sign in which the full moon occurs.

January Full Moon: Wolf, Old, Great Spirit, Winter
Thursday, January 28th, 2021 in Leo

February: Snow, Sleet, Hunger, Bone, Trapper’s
Saturday, February 27th, 2021 in Virgo

March: Worm, Crow, Sap, Windy
Sunday, March 28th, 2021 in Libra

April: Pink, Sprouting Grass, Egg, Fish, Leaf
Monday, April 26th, 2021 in Scorpio–Supermoon

May: Flower, Blossom, Planting, Corn Planting, Milk
Wednesday, May 26th, 2021 in Sagittarius–Supermoon Eclipse

June: Strawberry, Rose
Thursday, June 24th, 2021 in Capricorn

July: Buck, Thunder, Hay, Raspberry, Hot, Little Ripening
Friday, July 23rd, 2021 in Aquarius

August: Sturgeon, Berry, Big Ripening, Blackberry
Sunday, August 22nd, 2021 in Aquarius–Blue (3rd of 4 full moons in a season, summer)

September: Harvest (Full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox), Corn, Rice, Drying Grass, Plum
Monday, September 20th, 2021 in Pisces

October: Hunter’s, Falling Leaves
Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 in Aries

November: Beaver, Frost, Freezing
Friday, November 19th, 2021 in Taurus–Eclipse

December: Cold, Long Night, Popping Trees, Little Spirit
Saturday, December 18th, 2021 in Gemini


References

“When Is The Next Full Moon? 2020-2021 Dates, Times, And Names”. Farmers’ Almanac. Updated 02 Dec. 2020. Date of Accessed 18 Dec. 2020.

Konstantin, Phil. “Indian Moons, Days & Other Calendar Stuff”. This Day in North American Indian History. Updated 17 June 2018. Accessed 18 Dec. 2020.

Boland, Yasmin. Moonology Diary 2021. Hay House UK LTD, 2020.


Top Free Resources for Working with the Moon

I’m trained in Tarot advising, not astrology, so please review these resources for more detailed information.

“A Baker’s Dozen of Full Moons ~ 2020 – 2021 ~ Adjustable Full Moon Dates & Information”. Moon Tracks Astrology Calendars. Full Moon dates, times adjustable by time zone, names, and signs in which each occurs.

Enter your city to check your local current moon phase and the next new and full moon dates at timeanddate.com.

Keep it simple with Biddy Tarot’s New and Full Moon Spreads and Visualizations you can reuse every month – A 6-card spread and guided audio meditation for each phase in a fillable PDF

New Moon Intentions & Manifesting Kit and Full Moon Forgiveness & Gratitude Kit from Moonology.com with printable worksheets and meditation videos

New Moon Tarot Spreads by Sign (12 spreads) and Full Moon Tarot Spreads by Sign (13) from Labyrinthos Academy – Each spread includes how the astrological sign affects the energy you experience.

2021 Tarot by the Moon by Ethony* – Free guide to 24 New and Full Moon Tarot spreads for each sign organized by date

My Biggest Lessons of 2020

What I learned this year

Today I’m sharing a list of the lessons I learned in 2020: some are serious, some are heart-wrenching. It’s been a difficult year and the items below reflect that.

  • I don’t need all the metaphysical, moon, Tarot, and astrological planners. Just having some of them will do.
  • While we’re on the subject of planners, stickers are fun.
  • My flu shot didn’t cover flu B this year.
  • Saying no to activities that overextend me or expose me to unnecessarily difficult people counts as self-care.
  • My favorite way to become fully present is to take a deep, relaxing breath while I’m giving my cat belly rubs. I give my full attention to the fluffiness and the sensation of her purring, and I purposefully stay in that moment a little longer.
  • Keeping the most relevant details on a dry erase board (or in one easily-accessible place) can be really helpful.
  • Some nurses are sharing incorrect medical information. As an experienced Registered Nurse with a Masters of Science in Nursing from a bricks-and-mortar research university, I’m urging you to please visit the Mayo Clinic or NIH for your health information. Just because a nurse has an opinion on a topic does not mean they have the facts. Acting on incorrect information could be deadly.
  • As a former trauma ICU RN, allowing a dying loved one to go with dignity is both merciful and loving. By “with dignity”, I mean respecting the person’s wishes, including to stop seeking a cure (or pursuing treatment) when finding one is unlikely, and ceasing to subject the person to every surgery, treatment, or medication that might possibly help. Do your best to recognize when you reach the point that more surgeries or medications could be more risky or painful than helpful. If you’re not sure whether you’ve passed that point, ask a trusted nurse who is caring for your loved one in a professional role. I’m sure your neighbor’s son-in-law is a great nurse–please don’t make medical decisions based on 3rd-hand “information” though.
  • Getting back into reading and audio books has been great.
  • The drive to my muggle job is usually 45 minutes one way. Listening to audio books on my commute makes me feel like all the time I spend driving isn’t wasted.
  • More than anything else, many people just want to be heard. Listened to. Acknowledged. Have their concerns and emotions validated. Realizing they’ve truly been listened to is often more important than being “right” when they’re upset or angry.
  • Crunchy vs. smooth peanut butter can be quite a polarizing topic.
  • Career burnout can be caused or accelerated by frequently or continually lacking the tools or support needed to complete the assigned tasks.
  • Taking a moment to appreciate the beauty around me, wherever I can find it, is healing. Much like practicing mindfulness with my cat, letting myself sink into enjoying something lovely has been such a help.

Eclipsing the Burnout

Total solar eclipse and New Moon in Sagittarius

Following the moon phases, many of us notice that we feel more energetic with more intense emotions around the time of the Full Moon. Then around the New Moon, we may want to spend more time staying in and catching up on sleep. I’m a Tarot advisor, not an astrologer, so I’ve included links for more details. Please be sure to check out my references and resources at the end of this post.

This New Moon in hopeful Sagittarius (Monday, December 14th, 2020) is a great time to rest and recharge. Every month, the New Moon is associated with lower energy and going within for most of us. This is the perfect time for journaling and any other self care you enjoy. The New Moon is also the best time each month for intention-setting: to decide what you want to see happen over the next few weeks. Tuesday, December 15th, will be a great time to write down the intentions you want to focus on till the next New Moon on January 13th, 2021 (Yasmin Boland’s Moonology).

New Moon in Sagittarius Spread at Labyrinthos

“Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light, which then reflects off the full moon. Solar eclipses occur when the new moon moves between the sun and the Earth, blocking out the sun’s rays and casting a shadow on parts of Earth.”

-Eryn Johnson in “How Do Eclipses Affect Astrology?”

This particular New Moon is also a total solar eclipse, a powerful turning point. At this turning point, it’s time for endings, closure, and goodbyes. Honor your feelings and the feelings of others during this time. Endings also make room for new beginnings, and this solar eclipse is no exception. Allow this solar eclipse to shift your focus from the constant stress of everything that’s gone wrong and the subsequent burnout to new opportunities for change and improvement (Crystal B Astrology).

“The Mythical (and Astrological) Underpinnings of the Solar Eclipse – Plus a Solar Eclipse Tarot Spread” from Labyrinthos


Predictive astrologer Crystal B shares how the turning point of this eclipse opens better doors.

Top Free Resources for Working with the Moon

I’m trained in Tarot advising, not astrology, so please review these resources for more detailed information.

“A Baker’s Dozen of Full Moons ~ 2020 – 2021 ~ Adjustable Full Moon Dates & Information”. Moon Tracks Astrology Calendars. Full Moon dates, times adjustable by time zone, names, and signs in which each occurs.

Enter your city to check your local current moon phase and the next new and full moon dates at timeanddate.com.

Keep it simple with Biddy Tarot’s New and Full Moon Spreads and Visualizations you can reuse every month – A 6-card spread and guided audio meditation for each phase in a fillable PDF

New Moon Intentions & Manifesting Kit and Full Moon Forgiveness & Gratitude Kit from Moonology.com with printable worksheets and meditation videos

New Moon Tarot Spreads by Sign (12 spreads) and Full Moon Tarot Spreads by Sign (13) from Labyrinthos Academy – Each spread includes how the astrological sign affects the energy you experience.

2021 Tarot by the Moon by Ethony* – Free guide to 24 New and Full Moon Tarot spreads for each sign organized by date

Aura Protection Box

December 2020 Goddess Box

Couldn’t believe I caught flack from my editor about publishing this post. Really just an abuse of power.

But I’m braving the possibility of my cat getting upset by not allowing her to sleep on top of the keyboard and in the box (that she doesn’t fit in, so of course she still sits).

The theme of this month’s box from Goddess Provisions is Aura Protection. While not everything in the box aligns with my interests, the items are nice quality and very pretty as always, so I’m happy to gift or pass on anything I won’t use. This strategy prevents me from gathering too much clutter, and I really enjoy giving as a love language.

In the box:

  • snowflake obsidian
  • Calm nasal inhaler (like the Vicks inhaler for congestion, but much nicer)
  • card wallet in ombre pink-purple-blue
  • fabric moon cycles calendar printed with crystal-infused ink
  • Sonia’s Shield Immunity Blend essential oil roller – I love rollers like these because they make it easy to carry and use essential oils.
  • Zenned Out founder Cassie Uhl’s new book Understanding Auras
  • invisible invitation for cat to sit on and walk through photo shoot–get yours here

Guidance for Today

Today’s reading answers 3 questions: “1) What should I expect today? 2) How should I respond? 3) What should I keep in mind?”. I usually use the questions that come to mind at the time of my reading, rather than using a set spread. The decks are the Starchild Tarot by Danielle Noel and the Starseed Oracle by Danielle Noel and Rebecca Campbell.

First, for “What should I expect today?”, the 7 of Pentacles advises us to adapt using the lessons we’ve learned and to work smarter toward a specific goal, not harder. Slow down and evaluate how effective your methods are. Are they bringing the results you want?

Next, for how to respond, the King of Cups teaches us to master our emotions. We may feel overwhelmed or as if we’ve wasted our time when we contemplate whether our work has been effective. To get a handle on your emotions while still validating them, ask yourself, “Is my emotional reaction proportional to what’s happened?”. If not, allow yourself to feel what you feel, then choose how to best respond in a way that preserves your progress to your goals. You don’t need to tear everything down when you find an event upsetting. Remember, progress is progress. Discovering a simpler way to achieve what we’re working for doesn’t mean our previous efforts were wrong, just that we’re better guided now.

Last, for “What to keep in mind”, the 7 of Swords asks us to be strategic. While the 7 of Pentacles advised working smarter, the 7 of Swords gives us specific guidance: figure out which swords you want, pick those up to take with you, and leave the rest. In other words, decide what matters most to you and go after that. You can pursue the lower priorities at a later time.

The 7 of Swords also reminds us to beware deceiving ourselves. Just because we believe someone else wants us to do or be certain things doesn’t mean a) that person actually wants those things from us or b) that those actions would be beneficial. If you’re striving to meet someone else’s need, why not ask that person what they really need from you. It’s probably not what you think. Don’t assume.

Finally, the New Earth oracle card offers some encouragement: “It’s happening. Keep holding the vision.” You’re making a difference. Revising your methods will add some ease to your path. Don’t give up now.

Take care and thanks for reading!

Journal Prompts for Calm on Wine Down Wednesday

Is your pen mightier than the sword?

Grab a pen and your favorite journal or notebook (or device) and your beverage of choice. Let’s sink into calm with a few writing prompts. Today, I’m focusing on list prompts that can be as simple or detailed as you want. Choose based on the time and energy you want to spend investing in your self right now. Don’t actually have time right now? Bookmark this page for later or email it to yourself using the Sharing buttons below the post.

Quick recap from yesterday’s post, “What Use Is Journaling?” – I find relief in getting the anxious words and wandering thoughts out of my mind and onto the page. Second, writing things down allows me to clarify what’s really important to me, and consider which ideas or interests I want to pursue. Journaling serves an important role (maybe even the most important) in my self care and wellness practices.

Here are your writing prompts, based on those found in 52 Lists for Calm: Journaling Inspiration for Soothing Anxiety and Creating a Peaceful Life. They’re separated into the categories Be Present, See Your Self, What’s Working and What Isn’t, and Release. Feel free to mix and match the prompts you need most today.

Be Present

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes (or even 10) and list everything stressing you out right now. When time’s up, close your journal and be done thinking about these things for now. If you miss the feeling of anxiousness, know you can always come back to the stressful items on this list. 😉
  • List the songs that help you feel comfort, peace, and calmness. (Feels Like Home to Me – Dawson’s Creek version comes to mind.)
    • BONUS: List the feisty, yelling, metal, punk rock-type songs (or any genre that expresses frustration in a way that resonates with you) that get the tension out so you can feel peace and calmness. For an upbeat one, I like Bowling for Soup’s 1985, while Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down (Swinging) from Fall Out Boy is a great stress reliever. I’d love to hear your picks in the comments below!

See Your Self

  • List the things about yourself (habits, history, preferences, challenges) that you feel shy or worried about expressing.
  • List the times you’ve benefited from slowing down, or saying no. (Ever gotten an angry response from someone you told “no” that immediately made you feel better about not agreeing to their request?!)

What’s Working and What Isn’t

  • List your daily, weekly, or monthly routines that bring you ease or peace of mind. If you’re unsure, list any you’d be open to trying, like laying out your clothes or work for the next day, sitting down with your planner once a week to prioritize, or a monthly home/ space refresh (maybe cleaning out your wallet or planning a simple way to celebrate the next holiday).
  • List the negative narratives you repeat to yourself in your mind. If you notice yourself slipping into one of these ruts, try changing your physical location and doing something different (ex. walking to another room and getting a glass of water).

Release

  • List the things you’re looking forward to repeating in your life.
  • List the words you associate with calm.

Go Deeper

Check out my other 52 Lists posts and get your 52 Lists for Calm journal.

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