Happy New Year to all of you! Our winter work in the Magical Sabbatical is about to begin in earnest. I hope you have, like I have, taken some time in this in-between space the holidays to rest, rejuvenate, and restore body, mind, and spirit. This is the medicine of Winter; its gift to us is this time, this peace, this cold, this stillness. Here we are in the new year, 2017, just beginning our new routines for the year. And 2017 is a 10/1 year, meaning all things are possible. This is a year of new beginnings and a clean slate. In November and December we talked about detaching with love and loving from a distance, turning our back on the things we were done with, and releasing that which no longer serves our Highest Good.
This year is a chance to clear your energetic slate and give back to others the energies they’ve given to you that are not yours to keep. We carry so much baggage each day. Do you ever stop to think about what proportion of the feelings, sensations, and energies you feel and sense are actually yours? So many of the feelings and thoughts you carry aren’t even yours, but are in fact projections you carry from others who would have you hold their stuff. Some of these projections are conscious, some are not, but either way you are holding much that doesn’t need to be held.
Set it down. Give it back. Create space for all of YOUR new beginnings this year.
January deities – Athena and Zeus
We honor Athena – the Greek goddess of wisdom, balance, and war – at January’s Full Moon. One of the most powerful deities of the Greek pantheon (and my namesake!), Athena is also considered the guardian of civilization. There is much evidence which suggests that her worship predates the Greeks and ranged far outside its borders as well. She plays a role as co-creatrix of humanity in many myths such as the story from Ovid, which demonstrates Her gift of intelligence to humanity. According to Ovid, Prometheus created the first people from clay and Athena infused Her spirit into them, awakening their minds to give them life.
Athena was daughter to Zeus, King of the Gods, and had no mother. It is told that she sprung from Zeus’s forehead clad in armor and ready for battle. She is a virgin goddess of reason, intelligence, intellect, literature, and the arts. She became the patron goddess of Athens after her defeat of Poseidon in a contest when she offered the olive tree to the Athenians, and thus one of her sacred symbols is the olive branch. Athena is the purest embodiment of what the unfettered Divine Feminine is capable of. Raw, real, fierce, wise, balanced, and true. She is often depicted with an owl, one of her sacred animals. She was not so much a goddess of war as she was a wise and cunning advisor to warriors and heroes.
Athena has long since continued to be exalted as a goddess and as a spiritual mentor. She is considered a vital part of the evolution of humanity by many Theosophists. Alice Bailey identifies Athena as a member of the Karmic Board. And to many light workers, Athena is an Ascended Master and Guide who can be invoked for guidance and protection. To balance the Divine Feminine energies of our January goddess, we will also work with the masculine energies of Zeus, father of the gods.
Zeus is also father of goddess Athena, as she sprung from his forehead in divine creation, fully armored and ready for battle. Zeus became ruler of Mt. Olympus and god of the sky realms after he overthrew his father, the Titan Cronus. Equipped with a thunderbolt, he rules over the heavens and hurls his thunder when displeased. He grows especially angry over lies and oath breaking, so work with the masculine energy of Zeus if you need help getting things done or adding a little fire to your life.
January Herbs & Gems
- Olive leaf – Fire element. Wear olive leaves to bring good luck, hang branches over the door to prevent evil from entering, or place the leaves in a bag or add them to a wreath at the door. It also enhances male and female fertility, and is used as an offering to God and honored ancestors.
- Cedar – Fire and earth element, cedar is used for the creation of sacred spaces, and is related to longevity, protection, and preservation. It is often used to summon helpful spirits during rituals and invocations, as a symbol, charm, and talisman to represent propriety, long life, and growth.
- Nutmeg – Air element. Whole nutmeg seeds bring luck. In Creole tradition, nutmeg is thought to bring love. Sprinkle on a beverage before meditation or divination to enhance clairvoyance and clear sight and to encourage visions,. Nutmeg also brings financial prosperity and is a key ingredient in money draw oils.
- Juniper – Fire element. Believed to help psychic powers, break hexes and curses, and to attract good, healthy energies. It’s protective and guards against theft and accidents.
- Hyssop – Fire element. Hyssop is a wonderful and fragrant herb with healing and purifying properties. It stimulates and aids digestion and can be used as a cough suppressant and expectorant to treat respiratory infections. It’s antibacterial, and has also been used to purify sacred space and for sacrificial and purification rites.
- Pine – Air and fire element. Pine is associated with birth, abundance, health, fertility, fortune, love, and protection. Use it to attract prosperity, and to purify ritual areas and new homes. Helps one “stay the course” during difficult times, and try meditating with pine to alleviate heavy energy.
Athena’s stones are tiger’s eye and turritella agate.
Tiger’s eye brings wisdom, courage, protection, discernment, and the ability to see ahead. What is coming? And how do you need to prepare? This is your gem companion in difficult moments, a stone to be consulted for wisdom, strategy and direction, much like Athena was in ancient times and can be for you now.
Turritella agate is quite spiritual, as it deeply connects you to the earth and home, as well as to your personal roots and ancestry. It’s a survival stone of strength and protection.
Zeus’s stones are fire opal and clear quartz.
Your fire opal will come to you intentionally sealed in water in order to maintain and amplify its natural opalescence. Because these are natural and untreated, they need to be in water so as not to dehydrate, as opal has a high water content. It brings passion and security in love and helps you connect to your Sacral Chakra, which is the seat of all your creativity and desire.
Your clear quartz point is a stone of intensification. Use it for sealing of intentions and holding sacred space to harness major power in your work.
An introduction to Feng Shui and the Bagua map
In order to practice feng shui, you need to first understand the feng shui compass directions and their associations. The bagua map is the main tool used to analyze the energy of a space. Bagua, which means eight trigrams, gives us a basic energy map of our space. Understanding these 8 trigrams of the Bagua enables you to understand how to enhance positive chi and correct negative chi. The different energies are related to career, relationships, wealth, luck, children, family, helpful people and health sits in the center.
If you want to map your space using a compass, stand as close as possible to the middle of the space you are analyzing. Hold your compass until it registers magnetic North. After that you can easily locate the eight trigrams in the space around you. Some other schools of feng shui always use the main door as the setting point, rather than magnetic North. Do what feels right for you. Feng Shui is a deep practice with many layers to explore. We will discuss a high level overview and introduction in our class, so you can begin practicing in your space. Keep it simple and don’t overthink it. If it’s easy to map your home and you know where north is, use the directions. If not, simply align your front door with the bottom of the bagua map and map your trigrams accordingly. Keep in mind, this can go for your whole home or room by room. Again, it’s up to you. Most importantly, have fun!
We will discuss these areas of life in our class, and we will talk about what should be put on each altar.
This month, we enter Elder Council to connect with our guides, ancestors and Ascended Masters in search of guidance and/or clarity for our 2017 intentions. If you have not been with us in Sabbatical for Elder Council in the past, this is a space in the Outer Realms that we enter in meditation – a place where your guides, elders, ancients, and angels gather around you as you seek wisdom.
When I originally set the intention for Elder Council and asked permission to take you all back when Sabbatical was first created, the elders gave permission with one caveat: We must enter humbly and only for the most serious of matters. Whatever question you bring (and I do recommend preparing a question to ask, or at least a topic to explore) be sure it’s of great significance to you. Something where the outcome will make a difference in how you lead your life.
If you would like to prepare for Elder Council in meditation on your own BEFORE our gathering, close your eyes and imagine a pre-meeting with your guides, or even one of your guides, and ask what issue or matter he/she/they would like to discuss with you. This helps if you are unsure what to ask or explore in the Council. Write your question down even if you think you know it. The writing process intensifies the inquiry. You can bring any tools you feel called to have with you, and I highly suggest a ritual oil such as Portal or Elder Council.