episode 2 ☽ starhawk

Episode two is now available!

In this interview we talk with Starhawk, author, activist and pioneer of the feminist spirituality movement. We discuss the role of spirituality in activist movements, the relationship between young witches and our elders, permaculture, climate change and more.

Don’t miss this one! You can listen on Apple Podcasts or download the episode here.

episode 1 ☽ hannah and the deck of character

We’re excited to announce our first podcast episode is now available!!

In this episode we interview Hannah, the creator of The Deck of Character, an oracle for the 21st century. We discuss the inspiration behind the deck, run through a reading, and talk about what makes it different from traditional forms of cartomancy like the Tarot.

You can listen on Apple Podcasts or download the episode here!

 

spring equinox ☽ astro + ritual

Today and tonight we will celebrate the Spring Equinox: the return of days that are longer than nights, the return of light, warmth, fresh greenery, and new beginnings. It’s exciting to share this night with a full moon in Libra and the beginning of Aries season.

The characteristics of our Ram are new energy, the start of our seasonal and Zodiac calendar. Independence, freedom, and fearlessness are qualities you can harness with the resurgent Sun. However, the Moon in Libra also taps into a need to connect with your people. We all deserve a celebration for exiting the cave in Winter and gracing your hand along the fresh crocus, and Libra reminds you that your new journey does not need to be yet all on your own. Read on for more on the astrological energy of this potent time of year and some suggestions for rituals and divination!

Astrology

The spring equinox marks the beginning of Aries season, with the sun moving into the fiery and passionate sign of the ram. Aries is the first sign in the astrological year so we are beginning a new solar journey around the wheel of the zodiac and experiencing a sort of collective rebirth. It’s time to wake up from the lull of Pisces and of winter and to get our blood moving again. Let yourself be drawn to the sun, to take in its warmth. Let yourself feel playful and exuberant, like a child, as if you’re experiencing life anew. Mars-ruled, cardinal fire, Aries is a signal to take action, take initiative, make moves. Focus on being in the moment. Don’t burden yourself by overthinking or planning too heavily. Allow yourself to act freely, spontaneously, organically. See where that takes you.

I like to celebrate the spring equinox as my new year. Symbolically, it makes more sense to me, and the energy at this time better supports a renewed sense of self, a fresh start. New Year’s day happens in the middle of winter and the middle of Capricorn season. Astrologically speaking it is more of a time of reckoning, of facing your demons. Then we move into Aquarius, which is a very cerebral time, and then transcend into the collective unconscious in Pisces season, where everything blends together and life becomes a dream. So while those are beautiful and necessary times and important steps in the zodiac, the first couple of months of a traditional new year are not particularly conducive to getting things done. We are finally moving into a time in which action, creativity, and starting new are all heavily supported. This is what Aries season is all about.

Still, the first couple of weeks of the season might have a lingering murky feeling as we make our way through this Mercury retrograde in Pisces, which ends on March 28. In some ways it may still feel as though we are moving against a current, but the introspection of the retrograde paired with the high energy of Aries could potentially combine to create some powerful, soul-affirming moves, changes, shifts. Mercury retrograde is infamous for disrupting our lives but that’s only because we live in a technocratic society. Try taking a break from your phone or at least from social media. Take a break from the constant exposure to other people’s words, opinions, thoughts, perspectives, TED talks. Do something that helps you indulge in some introspection or nostalgia – visit your old childhood neighborhood or a place that had significance to you in the past, read old journals, meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, read a book that you loved at a certain time of your life. Try to reconnect with that essential part of yourself that is still with you, has always been with you, has always been you.

Coinciding with the spring equinox and the sun moving into Aries is a full moon in Libra. Full moons are great for release so think about some things you would like to let go of so you can move into this new cycle feeling light and free. Venusian Libra is a symbol of beauty, art, relationships, and harmony, so if there is anything internal or external in your life that is creating conflict in your relationships, or creative blocks, or feelings of tension and frustration, or otherwise hindering your ability to love and appreciate the beauty of the world and the people around you, focus on letting go of that or resolving or transmuting it in some way.

Rituals

My favorite thing about seasonal rituals is how ubiquitous the symbolism from the Sun is across our Hemispheres. From Nowruz to Lent and Easter to Passover’s observance after the “Barley is ripe”, we as many cultures celebrate and acknowledge the same things — a period of cleansing, fasting, and purification, to plant new seeds that will continue to harvest life for us. We celebrate the birth of the next stock of animals, fresh greens, and the warmth of the Sun to provide life and happiness, and freedom. Winter limits us to the hearth, the family, and to survive only as we prepared to do so. Spring represents possibility, growth, and renewal.

So how can we celebrate these natural gifts?

One could start with a literal planting. Getting your little seedlings prepped. The classic Spring Cleaning is always a great way of start. Our windows have been closed up for too long, and it’s time to sweep out the old! Considering it’s also pet shedding season, you may be like me and need this cleaning badly! Wake up with the sun and perform your favorite version of Sun Salutations. Take a personal inventory of what you need to refresh and renew in your life. Don’t be afraid to free write your feelings. Winter is always tough to get through. Plant metaphorical seeds too. Pull affirmations from tarot, create a vision board. Create a few mantras for your day or week. These can correspond with the magic of the days or time of day.

Tarot Prompts

The tarot can help guide us in how to best use the energy of this time. Here are some suggested questions to ask your deck – or whichever divinatory tool you prefer.

  • What can I take action on right now?
  • What do I draw energy from?
  • What makes me feel free?
  • What influences my creativity, or my ability to be creative?
  • What do I need to let go of emotionally to move forward right now?
  • How can I stay open to receiving messages during this retrograde?

We’d love to hear about how you are celebrating and feeling the energy of the Equinox! Give us a shout on Facebook or Instagram and let us know how you’re witching it! ☽

imbolc ☽ a fire scrying ritual

Happy Imbolc, witches! Falling on February 1st or 2nd, Imbolc marks the mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox is celebrated by many witches & neo-pagans as a Sabbat of the Wheel of the Year. Whether or not you celebrate the Sabbats, this is an excellent time for ritual, divination and preparation for the upcoming spring season.

History of Imbolc

Imbolc began as a Gaelic tradition honoring the goddess Brigid and corresponded with the arrival of early spring and the lambing & milking season of sheep.

Brigid was a patron of fire and smithcraft, of early spring and fertility, of healing and medicine, and of poets and poetry.

On Imbolc, it was traditional to hang a Brigid’s cross on the door to invite her to visit and bless the home, and to keep a fire for her.

Eventually, Brigid was christianized into Saint Brigid, and Imbolc became her feast day.

Imbolc Rituals

Consider Imbolc a time to prepare for spring as the end of winter is in sight. February and March can be particularly brutal as the final months of the season, so use this time to steel yourself and renew your energy to get through them and prepare for the upcoming renewal & reemergence of spring.

This weekend, you may want to do some housewitchery, such as home protection spells. If you’d like to work with Brigid or St. Brigid, make a Brigid’s cross and give offerings to her on your altar. You could tend a flame – a candle or a fire in your fireplace, or even a bonfire outdoors – in honor of Brigid or of the impending spring. Divination of any kind is supported, but I highly recommend trying this fire scrying ritual this weekend or on the new moon on Monday.

Fire Scrying Ritual

Scrying is a form of divination in which you gaze into a mirror, a “crystal ball”, glass, water, smoke, or a flame and allow visions to come to you. It is a highly intuitive form of divination. You may want to use an herbal divination aid – lavender, damiana, mugwort, blue lotus, or kava tea can help you feel more receptive.

  1. Find a space that is quiet where you can perform the ritual undisturbed. Cleanse the space using whatever method works for you – sweep the floor, burn incense or smudge, etc. Turn off your phone or leave it in another room. Scrying requires focus and concentration, and interruptions or distractions will disrupt the process.
  2. Light a candle and gaze into the flame. Clear your mind, and whenever your attention wanders, gently bring it back to the flame. Do this until you feel relaxed and focused.
  3. Continue gazing into the flame. Watch its movements, its changing shape. Allow yourself to fall into a light trance. Watch for images to emerge. Don’t force, censor or try to interpret anything, just let the images to come to you.
  4. When you’re ready, gently pull yourself out of the trance and extinguish the flame. Record any images and messages you received, and free-write your interpretations.
  5. After the ritual, do something grounding – drink a glass of water, eat something, stretch, go outside.

Over the next few days or weeks, be aware of and record any synchronicities that occur from the messages you received while scrying. You may see images from your divination reappear in your dreams, in movies/books/photographs/artwork, in tarot readings, or in your day-to-day.

Are you celebrating Imbolc this year? Share your witchy rituals with us on Instagram or Facebook, & let us know your results if you try the fire scrying ritual! We hope that you have a lovely weekend. ☽

 

welcome to the witching hour

Hey there witches!

Welcome to The Witching Hour website! This is one of the final steps in our transition from broadcast radio show to podcast, and you’ll be able to access all of our episodes here, as well as find information about what we’re up to. Our first podcast episode will be released next month, featuring a super special guest that we’re really excited about! Watch this space and stay tuned for more announcements coming soon.