I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year and I hope your neighbor’s fireworks didn’t scare the hell out of your dogs; it can be so stressful for pets. Our neighbors, here’s the thing, we have so many law enforcement officers and firemen in our neighborhood, and these people set off so many confiscated fireworks at New Year’s Eve and on Independence Day. I swear to god, it’s like the goddamn battle of Bunker Hill around here. I have to say we’re very fortunate that Johnny doesn’t get spooked by fireworks. He’s far too invested in his own laziness to get worked up about anything that goes on in and around our neighborhood. Prioritize your peace, king. Love that for you.
And in the event that you’re new to this podcast, or if you haven’t heard me mention before, Johnny is our dog and he does not believe in closed doors and he likes to be in the room when I record, so if- well, when- you hear snoring, snuffling, whining, licking, etcetera, please just ignore him. If I put him outside the room, he gets even louder.
This week, I wanted to start with a couple short emails. One of these I received after the Liminal Spaces episode, and it’s from a witch who happens to be a retired Imagineer. Now, if’ you’re not familiar with the term, an Imagineer is someone who works for Disney, designing the rides and attractions and so forth, and this witch had this to say:
I was having a hard time understanding the exact space in which it occurs. And I suddenly had an epiphany! I am a retired Imagineer and often have to relate magic to what I know and understand – the line between the outdoors and the ride is the liminal space! It’s the transition between one type of experience and another.
I really loved this analogy of liminal spaces, because it’s so apt. As we said in that episode, a liminal space is either literally or metaphorically, a place that exists between or outside of boundaries and thresholds. And what makes a liminal space so special in magick, is that it isn’t subject to any kind of limitation. The possibilities are completely open in this kind of a space, and that flexible, malleable kind of energy lends itself so brilliantly to spellwork and especially manifestation.
And being on line at a Disney attraction, if you’ve never been, is very liminal. You’re not in the park proper, but you’re not on the ride yet either. But the thing about Disney is that they spend a lot of effort designing these liminal experiences. Disney wants guests to enjoy the time spent waiting for a turn at a given attraction, they want the experience to begin before you step foot on the attraction itself, and they work to make it very immersive.
And so I really loved not only that analogy, but this witch for sharing it. Sometimes there are really nebulous concepts in witchcraft that aren’t super easy to explain or define, so anytime someone shares a way that helps them to get a better handle on it, I’m going to happily pass that along. Knowledge is power.
I had one other email that I want to read as well, and this one came in on the website contact page:
Hello Eli! I have been listening to your podcast religiously for a while. I’ve gone through major life changes recently, which have allowed me to really expand my craft. I just listened to your Amulet episode again. My questions are these… Many of our spells and rituals require us to move to different areas of our home for different purposes. For instance… in the Amulet episode, we are making an anointing oil in the kitchen, then moving to the altar to work with the Amulet. How does this work when casting our protection circle? Do we need to do multiple circles? Also do we need to do a circle every time we do any sort of magic? Thank you so much for all of your wisdom and guidance.
Really good questions. I can’t tell you how every witch does things, I can only tell you how I do things, and when I have some work that’s going to take me to multiple locations, not just in my own home, but sometimes part of working a spell means going out into nature or into public or what have you, I do not cast a circle every time I move from one space to another.
I don’t even always cast a circle at all, but that’s just because I happen to live with people who understand and respect our household wards. We don’t get transient energy moving through this house, our wards are kept tight, and so in most instances, our home is energetically locked down. So if I’m doing some general spellwork, no, I don’t bother casting a circle. But if I’m invoking any kind of deity, spirit, angel, or entity whatsoever, then I will.
But I know that this is a privilege that a lot of folks in different living situations don’t have. And so for these witches, I recommend that when you’re doing whatever preparatory work for your spell that doesn’t take place at your altar, you really don’t need to worry about that circle. Cast it at your altar once you’re ready to put all of your elements together and then consecrate your work all at once.
So in this witch’s example, make the oil in the kitchen without a lot of fuss, and then once you’re at the altar with everything ready to go and you’re prepared to anoint your amulet, then cast your circle, infuse your oil with its intended magick, cleanse the amulet, and perform your ritual. Now, if you feel like you need to cast a circle, if you are feeling like you should, your intuition is prickling, you’re feeling maybe exposed or vulnerable in some kind of way, then disregard what I say and cast your circle. You always have the final word when it comes to how you personally practice.
And thank you very much for the questions, and the comments. Please keep them coming, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, you can DM me on social media at @middleagedwitch, or you can message me directly from the website at middleagedwitch.com.
So this week I wanted to go through the calendar for January. I want to talk about the full moon and new moon that we will be looking forward to, and plan ahead for some of the big astrological events that are coming our way. I personally like to do this at the start of each month; it’s my nerd-ass way of making sure that I don’t get too busy and forget to plan for my rituals and it helps me to be sure that I can plan for retrogrades and other planetary shenanigans that might trip me up.
And no, I wasn’t always like this. I have missed so many full moons, lunar and solar eclipses, planetary alignments and so on because life is busy and we don’t always have time to plan for things like full moons each and every month. But I figured out my weaknesses and I’ve shored up the cracks. For the most part; no one is perfect.
Now, with all of this said, we must remember that the power of the full moon and the new moon runs over the course of about three days, the day before the full moon, the day of, and the day after. All three of those evenings are going to be fine for performing rituals or for working spells. So if you forget on the night, or if you have plans, or something comes up and you’re unable to observe the moon phase on the exact night, do not despair. You can plan something for the night before or the night after and achieve the same results.
But even more important to remember than that, is that just because it’s a full moon doesn’t mean we have to do jack shit. If we just do not have the energy, if the idea of performing any kind of ritual at all is just too much to think about, then the only thing we need to do is rest. Allow that moon phase to come and go without working any active magick at all. Sometimes rest is the ritual. Sometimes, we just need the moon to charge ourselves.
So, let’s get ourselves acquainted with the happenings this month so that we can think about how we can set ourselves up for the best possible outcomes. It’s so much easier to work with the planets than against them.
We are currently in Mercury retrograde, this is how we’ve begun this calendar year. This will last until the 18th of the month and that’s plenty of time to fuck things up. And as we say every time this happens, when Mercury is retrograde, miscommunication is not only likely, but almost inevitable. We have to extend each other a lot of grace during these few weeks. We are all going to say things we don’t mean, it’s going to be easy to twist each other’s words, and misunderstandings are going to happen. This is the nature of Merc retrograde. All we can do is double-check our texts and emails before we hit send, and be more mindful of how we phrase things.
And we have to be ready to be misunderstood. If someone misinterprets something we say, it’s probably not just because they’re an asshole, and we may need to apologize or at least to be ready to explain ourselves. If someone says something to us that lands wrong, we have to be ready to extend the benefit of the doubt. If this isn’t the kind of person who would normally say something rude or offensive, then they probably haven’t decided to become that person out of the blue. We have to take a beat and ask ourselves if we are misunderstanding them. Be ready to ask for clarification. Not in a confrontational way.
Also, technology loves to act a fool during retrograde, so be ready for your phone service to be sketchy, your internet to be unreliable, your favorite apps to go down, and so forth. If you have to send an important email or pay a bill electronically or submit an assignment online, don’t wait til the last minute. Give yourself time to find another way to get business done in the event that technology decides to act up.
Finally on the topic of Mercury retrograde, try to avoid entering into any contracts at all if you can. At least until the 18th. If you can’t avoid it, just make sure that you read and reread all documentation, get copies, have someone you trust take a look at it and make sure you understand all the terms and agreements you’re accepting.
As for the moon forecast, tomorrow, Friday, January 6th is the first full moon of the new year. In my neck of the woods, the full moon is in Cancer and this is going to be a great weekend for self-care. For staying close to home and watching your favorite comfort show with a face mask and some mineral water. This is also a good weekend for rearranging the furniture, for clearing out old clutter, and opening up some fresh energy in the home. And we all need to really mind our words this weekend and try to avoid gossip if we can. We don’t want our idle shit-talking to get back to the wrong people.
The new moon on the 21st is going to bring in a lot of newness in general; Mercury will station direct on the 18th as we said, but it will still be in its shadow. So don’t go too buck wild, but the worst of it will be over. And it’s going to be a great time for cultivating new ideas and innovative ways of thinking. Let those creative juices really flow the weekend of the new moon. It’ll be very expansive. And Aquarius in particular is actually going to have a great few weeks following that new moon. It’s a wonderful time in particular for Aquarians to advocate for themselves.
New moons are wonderful for initiating major changes, and for manifesting big things. It’s a blank slate that waxes for an entire lunar cycle, so if you’re considering putting something in motion that will benefit from a nice, four-week incubation period, this will be a good time for that kind of work.
What else are we looking forward to this month? Oh yes, Mars will go direct on the 12th. Mars has been retrograde since the end of October. Mars rules aggression, action, and sex, so when he is retrograde, we can really feel those aspects of our lives start to flounder. Libido may take a nosedive, we can feel stagnant in our career, in general it’s going to feel like you’re not making any progress and you’re having trouble getting new ideas or projects off the ground.
On the flipside, you may also be a little more impatient and impulsive, and so will the people around you. With this overlap of Mars and Mercury retrograde the last couple weeks, it’s probably made most of us feel particularly sluggish, lethargic, short-tempered, and generally crappy. But Mars stations direct in just about a week, and it won’t be retrograde again for 26 months. So we’re going to get some breathing room there.
We’re heading into Aquarius season on the 20th and that’s exciting. Always a lot of emphasis on individuality and progressive ideas and defying old paradigms. And this will dovetail in a very interesting way with Uranus stationing direct on January 22nd. This will bring some fresh energy and transformation, but Uranus will station direct in stubborn old Taurus. So we will see a lot of conflict I think around people’s ideas of how best to get things done. If that makes sense. I think there could be some pushback. But this kind of thinking, this kind of discourse, figuring out how to get things done and done well is healthy.
Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Conversely, just because a new idea is new, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. So just rethinking our habits and our patterns and taking a good long look and deciding what needs to be updated and what doesn’t is going to be well supported at this time.
And last but not least will be Venus entering Pisces on January 26th until February 20 I think. And this is going to bring a lot of opportunities for lovey-dovey declarations and for allowing ourselves to be a little more soft in our existing romantic relationships. The only caveat I might give is to be a bit cautious when starting a new relationship during this time. I’m not saying not to do it, I’m just saying to be extra vigilant that you’re not seeing things through rose-colored glasses.
Pisces is not known for being especially shrewd when it comes to love, and Venus in Pisces is liable to interfere with our ability to see things clearly when it comes to matters of the heart. I just want us all to protect ourselves and keep our eyes open.
And that’s the month of January in a nutshell. If you’re planning to do spellwork, and I think you should, then I hope this will help you find the most auspicious timing. Like I said at the top, if we work with the planets instead of against them, we are going to have much better results. So keep those cauldrons bubbling and we will talk again soon.
My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.