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Using Your Astrocal Diary or Other Lunar Planner

Astrocal 2020 Moon Diary

When I posted my video review of the Astrocal 2020 Moon Diary on PaganSpace, someone asked a question that got me thinking. The question was, “what is the best way to use a lunar planner?”.  It’s an excellent question, one that gave me the opportunity to really look at its practicality and where and how I can personally utilize this beautiful reference guide.

I have found it’s best to sit down with it ahead of time, looking over the coming week’s Moon Phase(s), Planetary Aspects and the moon’s Void of Course times. When one wants to plan the best times to plant, go to the dentist and do business transactions, looking ahead to the next week or even month will give you an idea of when best to carry out these tasks.

Since it’s a complex solar system, with all its parts moving all the time, there are many other planetary factors the Diary keeps track of – Retrogrades, Eclipses, Seasonal changes. Even still, the predictions for the year based on the five slowest moving planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Uranus and Neptune influence world events and humanity as a whole over the course of decades, even hundreds of years. A quick, two-page summary of the latter will save you the pain of doing in-depth research and hours of watching and searching YouTube for videos by astrologers. Or compare its information to your favorite astrologer’s predictions and see if they complement each other and bring further insights to light by which you can better plan your activities and worship around.

Of particular interest in this year’s Astrocal edition, I found this paragraph in the “Year Ahead 2020” page 6, to be particularly relevant to the recent Covid-19 worldwide lockdown stay-in-place situation. Take a look for yourself:

Astrocal 2020 Year Ahead

Does “security and survival needs predominating” ring a bell? How about “deadlines” and “control” imposed and exerted? “Economic speculation” and “existing infrastructures” in “international travel” have definitely trembled and continue to do so. Laws being questioned? Absolutely as the lockdown situation in the United States and the U.K. drag on, spurring rebellion as people tire of “sheltering in place”, watching their economic security crumble away into nothing.

Besides this chilling prediction (or insight) into current events, the Lunarian Diary also offers much in the way of both planetary and Wheel of the Year knowledge that is best sat down with during this time of sheltering to read and digest fully by both those new to their Craft and experienced “old-timers”.

What do you think? What does your own lunar reference guide(s) tell you? How do you best utilize them? Please let us know.

Blessings,

)O( Luna

BOTANICA: The Tarot Deck That Inspires

botanica tarot deck gold

Just when I wasn’t looking to write, something fell onto my radar this week that got the wheels turning full speed. Usually I say, “This is what happens when the worlds in your head come to life.”.

This time it was a case of, “This is what happens when the outside world makes your characters come to life.”.

So I lost my mind and supported a Kickstarter campaign called, BOTANICA: A Tarot Deck about the Language of Flowers. Now, I have never been interested in tarot as a divination tool. When I was younger, it seemed too complicated with all those cards to remember and I just didn’t click with them. My usual tool is the Runes and they work very well for me.

But something made me keep going back to this link I found through Facebook…something about the beauty of the cards and my renewed interest in herbalism pulled at me. I had three days to decide if I should support it. I considered the cost of the deck that attracted me, the Dark Alchemist’s Edition. It was pricey, but it was so BEAUTIFUL!

botanica tarot dark alchemists edition

Dark Alchemists Edition

After crunching the budget and deciding I could support the campaign at this level, I looked hard at the other reasons to do it; would it just sit around and gather dust, for example. It would be an expensive dust bunny magnet if I did, and at this stage in our financial situation, I normally couldn’t afford to make a mistake of even a hundred dollars.

Weirdly, however, the Covid-10 pandemic had given us an unexpected relief from the stranglehold of living paycheck-to-paycheck. With my husband’s church and critique groups all shuttered and operating via Zoom, it had cut our gas bill nearly in half. My chiropractor’s office was also shut down for a month. The added blessing of us both still having full-time jobs was also a miracle in this time when a third of Californians are currently unemployed.

Financial excuses out of the way, I considered the “would I use it” angle carefully. I found that, unfortunately, the odds of me using it in conjunction with or in place of the Runes I was used to, was poor.

Still undecided, but leaning towards not supporting it, I put it out of my mind. If it was meant to be, it would happen, I reasoned.

botanica tarot deck front and back cards

It kept nagging at me, haunting me. The shimmering image here reminded me of the glimmer of magick in )O( Luna and her Children. If this deck had featured dragonflies and was as beautiful in illustration as these cards, this decision would have been a no-brainer! But…what if I used the deck as part of a cosplay for both Serena and )O( Luna Solare?

What if I took it with me to my live eBook readings?

What if…

Then I began to wonder what the story was behind Serena having a deck of tarot cards. Here is a character, a young woman still living with her father, impressed from a very young age that magick was EVIL and to be avoided along with its tools at all costs? In the very early development of Serena, she always used water scrying for divination. Just a month or so ago I was faced with the question of how did she even start doing that, given her upbringing? As I had solved that dilemma by bringing in her lover, Loki Whoticore, who had introduced her to the magickal side of their bloodline’s heritage, I now realized it would fix this problem too.

Loki would give her the herbalist’s deck before…well…spoilers…

So the next morning, I supported the campaign. It was the final day. Then I discovered there was an Instagram livecast interview with the artist and publisher, Beehive Books. I watched it.

botanica tarot deck 3 cards

The attention to detail in this deck was impressive, as well as the research the artist put in to make certain the cards’ traditional meanings and imagery matched up and just plain made sense. There was a huge amount of excitement about this campaign as their original goal of $30,000 had been blown away and was then at a staggering close to half a million dollars! This seems unreal in the current worldwide atmosphere of unemployment, fear for health and massive retail shutdown. It just goes to show you that when something of such staggering beauty, made from the love of an artist, transcends fear and becomes a magickal thing all in of itself.

botanica tarot deck altar cloth

botanica tarot deck altar cloth

So here I am at the end of what had been an amazing campaign that brought in $731,111 from 9,627 backers. It means that they met all their stretch goals and this set has become way more than just a purchase of a deck of cards. This is what I ended up with:

• DIE-CUT METAL DANDELION BOOKMARK CHARM
• DIGITAL ACCESS
• THE ALTAR CLOTH
• THE HERBALIST EDITION (with embossed, foiled, interior printed drawer-style box)
• SMALL BOOKLET EXPLAINING THE CARD MEANINGS
• THE DARK ALCHEMIST TIN
• DANDELION PIN
• EGLANTINE PIN
• THE FOOL PATCH
• THE HARDCOVER COMPENDIUM (with embossing, foil, edge-staining and a silk ribbon!)
• THE DIGITAL COMPENDIUM
• THREE TERRARIUM STICKERS
• 14 DIGITAL WALLPAPERS + BONUS KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE WALLPAPER!
• DIGITAL PRINTABLE CALENDAR
• CUSTOMIZABLE BOOKPLATE/DECKPLATE STICKER
• METAL DANDELION CHARM/BOOKMARK
• VIDEO OF KEVIN JAY STANTON EXPLAINING THE MAJOR AND MINOR ARCANA
• EIGHT TAROT-SIZED POSTCARDS
• FIVE HIGH-RESOLUTION PAINTING DOWNLOADS
and MORE!

But I didn’t end up with just this. I ended up with so much more.

I ended up with a story.

To be continued when the deck arrives – ETA November, 2020

Blessings,

)O( Luna

Book Review: The Little Book of Self-Care for Capricorn

The Little Book of Self-Care for Capricorn

A simple, loveable little book with a single purpose – to remind us that we need to take care of ourselves before we can take of others. I picked up the Self-Care for Capricorn and read it cover-to-cover. It’s a treasure trove of great and affordable ideas that range from health tips to diet, exercise, mentally refreshing new routines and the exploration of new hobbies – all taking my earthy signs strengths and weaknesses into consideration. I know I will reference back again and again to this great little book.

That Which You Believe…

Many of us who walk the Pagan or ceremonial magical paths are all too familiar with the concept of belief impelling our spells to life. It is such a basic and necessary ingredient to our magical workings that even Hollywood has incorporated it into many, many script’s plots, scenes and dialogue over the decades.

This was met with a lot of fear and feelings of betrayal by those of our varied communities so many years ago. Oh how things change! Now it is so commonplace that even if we are in hiding in our own parts of the world, we secretly smile and nod when something of this nature is displayed on TV, on the Internet or in books. And on those occasions where they get the facts of our rituals so wrong, we either laugh, cringe or sigh in disgust.

I have always almost instinctively known that belief brings about magical change in life. The proof that cemented it came slowly as I first encountered pagans in a singing group of womyn from Orange County that came to a local folksong convention. From them I learned about The Path through the first author I ever read, their recommendation to read the wonderful works of Scott Cunningham.

Several years before that, the seed was planted – strangely enough – by a beautiful movie that did poorly at the box office and became a cult classic in the years to follow…a movie steeped in magic, romantic yet also deeply ritualistic in its most basic form. The movie Somewhere in Time.

“That Which You Believe Becomes Your World”

The words uttered by the character Richard Collier as he uses his will and love for the beautiful actress Elise McKenna to send him back in time from 1980 to 1912 where she first met him. It has already happened…it is fact…she came to him as an old woman in 1972, gave him the watch he gave her in 1912 and uttered the words, “Come back to me!”.

The emotionally powerful set up of this and the scenes where he learns they have, in fact, met in 1912 and he must make it happen again – and does – have never left me and taught me before I ever studied magic in any book that truly, “That Which You Believe Becomes Your World”.

The Missing Element to all this…

The other major element to making your beliefs become your world in a physical sense is the spark that lights the fire of imagination, magic and action – emotion. Powerful emotion comes about in various ways and by various methods, often triggered by our surroundings and its atmosphere. We Pagans, Wiccans, Ceremonial Magicians et al create this atmosphere by setting up a sacred space – candles, incense, music, solitude, nature and the great outdoors themselves.

Somewhere in Time used the element of Richard Collier’s obsessive love for Elise as the honeypot, if you will, to ensnare him in driving his conscious mind to pursue this goal by very magical means. (Please note, there are spoilers for the movie from this point on, so if you want to rent the movie and see it without them, please jump to the last paragraph(s) of this article.)

Consider how this ritual-like magic is manifest in his following actions:

  • The search for knowledge – He goes to one of his old teachers who has written a book about time travel.
  • Creating “sacred space” for his “rite” – To convince his conscious mind it can and will happen so it will happen in reality, Richard 
    • buys clothes from the correct time period (ritual attire),
    • cuts his hair to “fit in” in 1912 (body modification, akin to tattoos – even self-mutilation as practiced in the past and today by some sects)
    • obtains money from the same period (the “fee” for the ferryman Charon to cross into his ‘new life’, if you will)
    • records a hypnotic litany and plays the tape back over and over as he “meditates” to initiate the process of time travel (sounding much like ritual chanting, if you ask me!)
    • and in the end realizes that all of the physical preparation is useless when he fails, only succeeding when abandoning the tape recorder after seeing his name in the historical hotel register from 1912 and uses his newly discovered “faith” and beliefs to initiate a successful time jump backwards 68 years to his “Goddess” – she who waited and waits for him – always and eternally – so they may consecrate a bond that transcends time in a perpetual, eternal loop as never-ending as the God and Goddess themselves!
    • and finally, after losing her, crossing over into death to once again “return to the Goddess”, Elise, who waited for him in the Great Beyond/Summerlands/whereever-you-believe their ‘heaven’ doth dwells.
    • all of this heightened in the background by a deeply haunting soundtrack (ritual music, anyone?) that demands one’s rapt attention and emotional investment as a witnessing member of this sacred journey and union.

Consider then, you own experiences in life that led you to your chosen path – the path your very heart and soul tell you – no, witness to you are the real path…the one that makes that which you believe become your world.

Blessings,

)O( Luna

Book Review: Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs and Spices

I have always believed in healing the body in a natural way. When I ran across this book in my 20s, I was fascinated with the depth of Heinerman’s knowledge in the uses of the living breathing plants around us to do this. I would spend hours pouring through its pages, absorbing its rich knowledge.

My first test of its power to heal came in the first year of my marriage when my husband contracted bronchitis. I used the book’s simple cold & flu recipe to drive it out of his lungs. He – and I – become strong believers from that point on.

The more I read, the more I was fascinated with how this precious, old knowledge could have been abandoned for modern medicine. The section on Slippery Elm especially caught my attention for an account of how in 1838, a Mormon woman used a mucilage poultice of this tree’s roots and inner bark to heal the hip and socket joint of her son when he was attacked by religious fanatics, one of them putting the muzzle of his gun to the boy’s hip, deliberately blasting the joint away. The son made a full recovery!

The book is cross-referenced between ailments and plants, making it very easy to look up anything you are researching. If there were a fire today, it would be the first book I would save when I ran out of the house – next to my Book of Shadows, that is.

As a side note, I oftentimes went back to this reference book when I first started writing my eBook series in 2000. As I rewrite this section, I will again rely heavily on its wisdom, instilling it into my Healer, Serena Solare.

)O( Luna

So Where Did the Dragonfly Temple Chronicles Come From Anyway?

Luna Whoticore, High Priestess of the Dragonfly Temple of Whocate

So maybe you didn’t come here to specifically ask this question, but in case you’re wondering, I’m going to answer it anyway. You deserve to know, after all, if you’re spending time here.

The Dragonfly Temple Chronicles come from a lifetime lived and several elements and experiences that tie it all together. At the less-than-tender age of 57, believe me, there is plenty of experience behind that statement.

Having the astrological sign of Libra as an ascendant means I demand balance in all things. And having less than 2 or 3 decades of life experience under your belt usually doesn’t give one the insight to understand that. That’s okay. Life is meant to be lived and experienced. We interpret the results as we go along and adjust our rudders accordingly.

I believe that the need for balance has kept me sane and out of trouble my entire life, but it has also been a source of deep frustration. Every time I am out of balance, I feel it acutely and if bad enough, stop everything to set it to rights. This is particularly troublesome if you don’t know what your purpose is in life. Most of my life, I didn’t.

Weaving the Threads Together

And that’s the funny part. While I didn’t know (or acknowledge) what my path was, I was doing it, it turns out all my life. It was only when I turned 50 that I fully embraced it. When that happened, I realized that a life I thought had been spent drifting, could be looked back at and woven into something new and amazing never before seen by anyone. And the vehicle for weaving it together was through writing.

What You Will Find Here

That being known, it is simple to answer the question now.

You will find each of the threads of my life represented in the characters in my series. And if you look close enough, you will not only get to know me a little better, but you will also see yourself in their reflections.

Blessings,

)O( Luna

Stir crazy at home? Catch up on the series for a BUCK!

Are you going stir-crazy at home because of the recent lockdown due to the COVID-19 situation? Wish you had more to read? For those not yet patrons of the Dragonfly Temple Chronicles, I want to help you stay sane in the only way at my disposal – by offering you limited access to the eBook chapters I’ve written so far in the Dragonfly Temple Chronicle series.

This idea had been rolling around in my thoughts for only a day when my sister called and we talked much longer than we usually do on the phone. It occurred to me after we hung up that she, like so many others caught up in the net of mandatory isolation, are looking for ways to keep busy, keep engaged and keep entertained.

I thought long and hard about this for several days. How could I make this fair to my existing patrons who pledged at the $5.00 and above level for the privilege of reading these chronicles, yet introduce new readers to the same exciting series that would ease their isolation? The solution came almost immediately, but I gave it a few days consideration and ran the idea past my writing confidante (the husband) and my sister and they both agreed it was fair – by making this a LIMITED OFFER good for the duration of the U.S. mandated COVID-19 Safe at Home emergency.

So here’s how it works; ONE DOLLAR will get you access to all the eBook chapters I’ve written so in the Dragonfly Temple Chronicle series until such time as life returns to normal and the COVID emergency has been suspended IN THE UNITED STATES.

At that time, your pledge will REVERT to the basic monthly Thank You level where you will get a shout-out on all Nocte Libri’s social media and notices of all our activities as they happen. If at that time you like what you have read enough to continue, you are more than welcome to upgrade to the $5.00 level but are in no way obligated to. You can also cancel your pledge after the first month’s $1.00 has been withdrawn if you no longer wish to support our writing efforts.

nocte libri stickers

As well as getting access to our chronicles, the first 12 new patrons, will get an exclusive sticker of our eBook’s beautiful dragonfly moon logo. This offer also applies to all existing patrons that get us a mailing address where we can send the sticker to. These are beautiful, full-color stickers that were made for our in-person eBook readings last year at Loscon and for the Metaphysical Healing Faire that was canceled at the end of this month due to the COVID emergency. I am very grateful for the opportunity to get these pretty little dragonflies out into the world and into the hands of those that would give them a good home!

So, if you have a spare dollar burning a hole in your pocket, itching to get out there and support a struggling writer, I humbly ask you to consider giving us a trial run and immersing yourself in a fascinating world of pagan fantasy the likes of which you’ve never seen before.

Namaste,

)O( Luna

A Day of Healing Metaphysical & Artisan Faire CANCELLED

As everyone on the planet knows by now, the state of California is on “lockdown”, “shelter in place”, “quarantine” or whatever other buzzwords you want to call it. The organizer Anahit was forced to cancel A Day of Healing and with the current atmosphere of fear and paranoia, it is certain it would have been poorly attended at best anyways.

It will return in November. We will reapply then to continue our public readings.

Blessings and stay safe!

)O( Luna

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