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July, 2019

The Starshine Two Eclipses, Retrograde Mercury and a Black Moon!

By Dikki-Jo Mullen, Astrologer

Turning the calendar page to unveil a new month is a ritual. This reveals a block of time which is like a blank canvas. Will it be painted in colors bright and beautiful, mysterious or dark and even sinister or tragic? Much can happen in a month. As an astrologer I encourage free will within limits. The messages sent by the planets, Sun, Moon and stars offer a road map for guidance. “As above, so below”, they say. Considering how best to use the celestial energies which affect an individual’s birth chart at a given time holds the secret to following the cosmic truths in the highest and best manner. The goal is to manifest the best possible destiny. That is what the thousands of years old craft of astrology can offer. Some months are more eventful than others for some of us. Then there are those occasional months with so much happening in the heavens that life on Earth overall could evolve, morphing into almost anything. Looking at my astrology calendar, July of 2019 promises to be such a month. Two eclipses, five retrograde planets, including a retrograde Mercury cycle, some intense and heavy duty aspects with a rare Black Moon as the finale summarize the July story in the sky. Eclipses tend to break up the status quo and affect the weather. Eclipses are fire crackers occurring at New or Full Moons, usually in groups of two, about two weeks apart. It all begins with a solar eclipse at the New Moon on July 2 at 10 degrees Cancer 38 minutes. Patriotism, family dynamics, security issues, food and water supplies as well as emotional concerns are the keynotes. The Sabian Symol for this degree is “A clown making grimaces”. Tentative, uncertain with something masked is suggested. The Sun and Moon conjoin at the solar eclipse and both luminaries will be applying to oppose both Saturn and Pluto. Select associates with care. Be aware of how places might affect you too. There can be much controversy expressed. The USA’s National Horoscope is affected profoundly. The two week period until the next eclipse occurs promises several important events. Be flexible and aware of how the world is changing in order to make the best of this trend. Mercury will go retrograde at 7:15 pm EDT on July 7 until July 31st in Leo and Cancer. It will join retrograde Jupiter (in Sagittarius), Neptune (in Pisces), Saturn and Pluto (in Capricorn). If traveling, return to familiar places. Family ties can be reviewed. Reunions can be influential. Vacation plans are subject to change. Postpone moves and job changes, use care in signing contracts or making promises. Double check facts. Dreams can be vivid and puzzling. History repeats itself. On July 16 the Full Moon is a lunar eclipse in Capricorn at 24 degrees 04 minutes. It (occludes) conjoins both Saturn and Pluto. Meeting obligations, expressing opinions and seeking the heart’s desire concern individuals. Authority and power overall will be in flux. Weather and other natural conditions can affect many. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is “An Oriental rug dealer”. Values are woven into the fabric of how deals and negotiations made. Avoid trivialities and look at the overall point of things under this trend. Observe how some people and corporations treat others. For deeper personal insight, consider where these eclipse degrees fall in individual horoscopes. The influences generated by eclipses can unfold over the year ahead at 90 day intervals. That points to October, 2019 etc. as the “after shock “ cycles. The Black Moon is the rare second New Moon within a single calendar month. Perhaps the phrase “Once in a Blue Moon” , which refers to the serendipity of a second Full Moon in a single month, is more familiar. Blue and Black Moons usually occur once in about every 2 ½ years. The Black Moon of 2019 will be on July 31 at 11:12 pm EDT, at 8 degrees Leo 17’. The Black Moon has deeply mystical attributes. It has been linked to the fey ones, the wee folk who share the world with us. Think of parallel universes and alternative realities. The Sabian Symbol for this lunation’s degree is “glass blowers”. Deftness at turning base materials into something beautiful is the message. This July 31, 2019 Black Moon is unique in that it coincides with the festival of Lammas, a pagan and Wiccan celebration of the early harvest. Plan to enjoy the magic. Perhaps by writing a wish list or setting intentions through meditation and affirmations. (As an intriguing afterthought, Mercury will turn direct on July 31, 2019 at 11:58 pm EDT .) What all of this means remains to be seen. It certainly promises to be an interesting month.

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Strawberry Full Moon Star Day!
By Dikki-Jo Mullen
The last lunation before July’s eclipse pattern begins will be the Full Moon on Monday (Moon-Day), June17, 2019 at 25 degrees Sagittarius 53′. It will affect the flow of daily events until the New Moon on July2. Positioned near the Galactic Center (at about 26 to 27 degrees Sagittarius), this Full Moon leads many to feel that this points to a high energy portal opening. The Galactic Center is at the center of the Milky Way. It has been accorded significance by astrologers since being discovered by the great astrologer William Lilly in the 1600’s. Lilly also determined void of course moons and used horary astrology to predict the Great Fire of London and the ill fate of King Charles I.
The Full Moon correspondences below were compiled by Justin Robert of The Sublime Elms. Use them to invoke and honor this special lunar influence in your own life.

This Full Moon will be in the sign of Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 17th. The greatest need is to always search for something. In order to feel safe you might find that you need to have a goal, mission or philosophy that gives your life meaning. With Moon in Sagittarius you have an optimistic approach to life and you believe that things will get better even if you get into trouble. Theme is fruition, fulfillment, and the ripening of aspiration.
JUNE CORRESPONDENCES Mead Moon (June) Also known as: Moon of Horses, Lovers’s; Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Honey Moon, Aerra Litha (Before Lithia), Brachmanoth (Break Month), Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Moon of Making Fat Nature Spirits: sylphs, zephyrs Herbs: skullcap, meadowsweet, vervain, tansy, dog grass, parsley, mosses Colors: orange, golden-green Flowers: lavender, orchid, yarrow Scents: lily of the valley, lavender Stones: topaz, agate, alexandrite, fluorite Trees: oak Animals: monkey, butterfly, frog, toad Birds: wren, peacock Deities: Aine of Knockaine, Isis, Neith, Green Man, Cerridwen, Bendis, Ishtar Power Flow: full but restful energy; protect, strengthen, and prevent. A time of Light; Earth tides are turning. Decision-making, taking responsibility for present happenings. Work on personal inconsistencies. Strengthen and reward yourself for your positive traits.

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Of A Florida Angel or Surfer Ghost

By Dikki-Jo Mullen

Usually the bright days of late spring in small Florida beach towns don’t immediately suggest visits from friendly ghosts and angels. Palm trees silhouetted against an oceanside sunset aren’t otherworldly. Usually. But things aren’t always as they seem. The still, damp heat can be hypnotic. When punctuated by frequent rain showers it can foster glimpses of other dimensions, revealing the various specters and entities that exist in the world along side of us. Actually credible accounts of spirits and supernatural events are quite common between May Day and summer’s end in the Sunshine State. Paranormal encounters can be fueled by the shimmering veil of still sunshine and growing heat.
Here are some thoughts to ponder about such a visitation which took place in unincorporated Indialantic, a barrier island community off the coast of Brevard County. My beloved and beautiful mother Elayne lived there for many years, tending to her exceptional tropical garden while producing her arts and crafts to sell locally. She was content to live alone, remaining very spry and active into her early 80’s. Then, as is oftentimes the situation with many people, everything began to change. It was shortly after her 83rd birthday in January, 2002 when Elayne started to grow more frail. I was driving the 70 miles or so from my home and work in Orlando to check on her and bring her food several times each week by the time Memorial Day came. On one visit I was horrified to notice large purplish bruises on her arms. Elayne said that she had fallen near her mail box. This would seem to be just a sad and all too common account of an elderly person becoming less independent and in need of added assistance except for one detail.
Elayne started talking about her guardian angel rescuing her. She was quite a practical person, almost an agnostic, and not given to religious observances. Mentally she was as astute and clever as ever. Elayne said that she was struggling on the ground, having trouble getting up, when her angel came. He wore blue jeans and a T-shirt and arrived driving a large black pickup truck which screeched to a halt by her mail box. He picked her up, she said, and carried her to her door. After making sure that she wasn’t seriously hurt, he and the truck disappeared. She said he seemed to know her, but she couldn’t speak. This phenomena is commonly reported by those who encounter angelic beings. They seem to not need or be interested in chatter. Elayne usually had plenty to say, so this silence was unlike her.
The house is on a dead end street. The few vehicles that pass by tend to be recognized by the residents, who mostly know each other. Elayne was usually outdoors and always curious about who was who. She even had been accused of being a nosey neighbor. She had never seen either the black truck or the man, whom she described as rather good looking, before. We asked around. None of the neighbors had ever seen him before or since the incident either. From the description I wondered if the entity was the ghost of a young surfer who had drowned years earlier. The unfortunate surfer’s truck had been found parked by the beach across the oceanfront HWY, A1A, just a stone’s throw from Atlantic Avenue, Elayne’s little street.
Elayne insisted that he was her handsome guardian angel and had been there for her. She added that since she was OK, he must have just driven his shiny black truck back to heaven!

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The Great Jupiter Perigee of June, 2019
By Dikki-Jo Mullen

It’s all over the news during this month of June, 2019 illustrated with incredible pictures. Jupiter is making its closest passage to the Earth with its moons in tow. The biggest of the planets in our solar system is also in Sagittarius, its own ruling sign. Visible with binoculars. Even using just a small telescope or just a star gazer looking up, this view will be memorable. The placement will be exact on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 11:28 am EDT, but will be influential and visible for several days before and after at 19 degrees Sagittarius 28’.
So what does this unusual pattern promise? First of all the Sabian Symbol for this degree is “Men cutting through ice”. This suggests reorganizing the forces of nature for human convenience. Global warming and climate change? The fixed star Sabik is only two degrees away. This pale yellow star is in the constellation Ophiucus. With Jupiter Sabik accents financial concerns, Church law, tension with in-laws, and the welfare of animals.
Consulting “The Rulership Book” by Rex Bills for further insight, here are some keywords for Jupiter and Sagittarius . Marches, promotions, ambassadors, commemorations, fellowship, a gamble, explorations, exaggerations, self-indulgence, growth, wins, trades, ceremonies, harps, wisdom, long journeys, literature, imports and sports.
This is the second decanate of Sagittarius, co-ruled by Jupiter and Mars, so the concerns about fire and the hot weather can continue and there can be some emphasis on the military. The mood is competitive overall with a desire to expand.

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A Memorial Day Ghost Story
By Dikki-Jo Mullen
Monday, May 27, 2019, Memorial Day, found the temperatures around Central Florida hovering at the century mark, 0ver 100 degrees in many places. The hottest Memorial Day ever on record, the newscasters announced. Having had a busy weekend earlier on, I elected to remain indoors from late morning on. I waited to see if the lengthening shadows of late afternoon would bring some relief. My thoughts turned to Memorial Day, 2018, last year. My good friends Ashton and Rachel, along with Rachel’s adorable family, invited me to a Memorial Day picnic at the nearby Greenwood, a historic cemetery with a reputation for paranormal activity. Orlando ghost investigation groups often gather data evidencing messages from the spirit world at this site. In 2018 we had sandwiches near the statue of Johnny Reb in the Confederate soldiers’ section. A rain storm cut short the picnic and planned paranormal investigation, although we all sensed that the spirit world was active and aware of us and other visitors that day.
This year, 2019, I felt a sudden yen for piece of Toojay’s cheese cake. I drove to the restaurant to pick up a piece to bring home. That’s when the eerie events began. I found myself ordering a piece of coconut cake instead, three layers of delicious looking white cake and frosting with shredded coconut covering it.
On the drive coming home, I turned into the Greenwood cemetery, intending to say a prayer of peace remembering those in spirit. I drove to a far corner of the huge cemetery and parked where I saw a bench to sit on. I thought of making a picnic of the cake. I looked at some of the gravesites and was chilled. despite the hot day. I saw one marker showing a date of birth for a man born on May 27, today’s date. It was of course many years ago. Anniversaries of births and deaths are among the times when paranormal activity is likely.
This is the kind of synchronicity pointing to an omen, perhaps, of spiritual messages to come. I settled into the quite comfortable bench. The huge trees, grass and flowers make this cemetery’s grounds especially beautiful. Dates on gravesites went back to the early 1800’s, when it surely out in the wilderness, far from what is now downtown in one of the world’s fastest growing cities. The day was so quiet. Across the green a couple of visitors were leaving memorial wreaths and flower sprays. Mostly the place was deserted though. As I relaxed and started to enjoy a bite of the cake slice a loud voice spoke.
“I always liked coconut cake the best. I made it with larger pieces stuck to the sides though, “ it said.
The voice sounded masculine and wistful. I looked around to see if maybe a mortal visitor had walked up. No, the remote corner was deserted, with only me to visit from the mortal world. I looked down and was chilled. A huge chunk had disappeared from my cake. Shaken, I carefully placed the rest of the slice on the grass, and quickly replied,
“Bon Appetit”.
It was time to retreat from the City of the Dead. Soon the Sun would set on Memorial Day and the shadows would lengthen.

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Witchery For Astrologers
By Dikki-Jo Mullen

Standing in line in the bright Florida sunlight one day in early summer while waiting to purchase a ticket for Universal Studios, the conversations which could be overheard were most revealing. It would seem that all that is misty, gothic and reminiscent of the world of witches would be galaxies removed from the thoughts expressed by the crowds of tourists. But not so!
Young and old alike were all most enthusiastic about visiting the Harry Potter attraction at the famous theme park. For the visitors who travel to my home town of Orlando, Florida from all over the world, the focus was all about witchcraft and wizardry.
Harry Potter has revived and updated the mystique of the witch certainly, but the appeal of these supernatural and powerful beings is timeless, as evidenced by other classical witch tales. The witches in The Wizard of Oz and the three sisters who open Shakespeare’s Macbeth are a couple of examples. Whether hideous and ugly or angelically lovely the witch fascinates, attracts and intrigues us. The witch (and her male complement, the wizard) evoke deep reactions of envy combined with wonder, desire and maybe a chill of fear. Identified with potent forces and freedom as ancient and primal as the origin of life itself these spellbinder archetypes enjoy a peak season at Halloween each year. October 31st, the Old Celtic New Year, aligns with the first decanate of the astrological sign of Scorpio, with a double Mars and Pluto rulership. Most years this is 7-8 degrees of the sign. Its Sabian Symbol reads “The Moon Shining Across a Lake”. This suggests illumination of an inner nature and the beauty of nocturnal mysteries. The Moon, ruler of the subconscious, and a mythological guardian of the night, has a deep affinity with the practice of witchcraft. The ubiquitous Halloween witch flying, silhouetted with her broom, is completed by a Full Moon in the background.
She seems to be greeting the death of the summer past while a cold wind blows. The promise of a deeper darkness is building. Perhaps we secretly wish to be like her flying freely through the night unencumbered and able to heal or hex at will. The practice of wizardry and witchcraft addresses the possibility of inhabiting a different world which some entwines with our familiar one. Remnants of early, primal belief systems which fulfill the human yearning for a deeper connection with something beyond everyday reality are expressed through the image of the witch. Depth of feeling, euphoria, a deeper joy and hope, a greater aliveness are easier to believe in upon meeting the witch.
In the practice of Wicca, as the Old Religion of Witchcraft is sometimes called by practitioners, four elements, fire, earth, air and water figure prominently. Astrologers see the same four elements as important divisions in the energies expressed by the twelve zodiac signs. The four primary tools used in the practice of witchcraft are also identified with the same elements. These energies, elemental, raw and basic, work interchangeably within astrology and witchcraft. To awaken and attune to your own inner magic this Halloween begin to focus on the element group of your familiar Sun sign. For further insight consider the other elements and how they reflect your Moon sign, ascendant and other important placements. Witchcraft is intuitive and personal, so the expression of instincts and emotions plays an important role in relating to your own birth chart in this way.
The symbol is an upright triangle
The Wand or Broomstick is the Craft Tool of Fire
Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are the Fire Signs of the Zodiac
Begin to awaken a sense of witchery with incense, candle burning, sacred lights and fires. Select several candles and observe how the release of heat, light color affects you and your surroundings. Pink promises love, while red is more passionate and competitive. Green favors nature and prosperity, white assure innocence and sweeping away cobwebs. Yellow generates mental clarity while orange enhances friendship and cheer. Brown is grounding and practical. Purple is the color of psychic energy and conjuring the spirit world, while grey will balance positive and negative polarities. If there is any concern about one’s image or reputation three grey or silver candles will halt slander. The wand is used to extend power and direct efforts toward a desired goal.
The symbol is an inverted triangle with a crossbar over the point
The Cauldron or Cup is the Craft Tool of Water
Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are the Water Signs of the Zodiac
The recording and interpreting of dreams, reverie and visions, perhaps while enjoying a fragrant bath, a stroll along the beach or walking among the autumn leaves while contemplating gathering storm clouds can awaken your inner potential magic. A crystal ball or bowl of water used as a meditation focus can magnify intuition and insight. Review the phases of the Moon and how they affect the flow of daily life. Remember how the Moon affects the ocean’s tides. The human body is mostly water and chemically is much like the ocean. How does this affect your inner power tides? The cup or cauldron is used to brew herbs, healing soups, potions and holy waters. Sacred wells, such as the Chalice Well in Glastonbury England, have a link with the sacred water tradition.
The symbol is an inverted triangle
The Stone or Pentacle is the Craft Tool of Earth
Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are the Earth Signs of the Zodiac
Sacred stones and crystals are important in magical workings. They draw upon the natural energies of the Earth. Gemstone amulets, often fashioned from birth stones, will find a place in the wardrobe or upon the altar of those who practice witchcraft. A crystal tucked into a pillow to stimulate psychic dreams or a pendulum held to seek guidance and direction are ways the Earth energies might be added to rituals. The pentagram, a five pointed star with the single point facing upward has long been a popular choice to represent the element earth among practitioners. When made of wood or metal, the pentagram is called a pentacle and represents a human figure with its hands outstretched at the center of the universe. The celestial currents of the life force illustrated by five pointed stars in many places on Earth. Flower petals and star fish are examples. In slicing an apple a natural pentagram can be observed, formed by the seeds in the core. Perhaps that is one reason why apple dishes are especially popular at Halloween and apples are incorporated into many legends of witchcraft.

The symbol is an upright triangle with a cross bar.
The Sword or Blade is the Craft tool of Air.
Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are the Air Signs of the Zodiac
Blades and swords figure prominently in the practice of witchcraft as symbols of discrimination. They are used to cut through illusions and reveal the truth. The quest for knowledge and the freedom it brings in overcoming ignorance is suggested. The metaphor of the sword is also recognized in the sharp stirring of the wind. Vital to the continuity of life, the intake of air circulates through the mind and body. Air clears the mind and lifts the spirits as it sharpens the intellect. The Tarot Cards, which incorporate the tools of the craft in the four suits of Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords, are commonly used as both a focus for magical workings and a source of knowledge by practitioners.
The four elements which are a focus in astrology and witchcraft alike have four principles attached to them. These are the cornerstones of the practice of constructive and healing magic, which is the only type we advocate of course. The principles are “To Dare“, “To Have Faith“, “To Keep Silent” and “To Know”.
The first one, “To Dare”, draws upon the element Fire. Fiery energy provides the vitality, the motivation, initiative, confidence and courage to reach for goals and make desired changes in the status quo. The practice of witchcraft is dedicated to the ideal that the conscious direction of natural forces has the ability to direct and modify reality. The second principle, “To Have Faith” links to Water. Unwavering faith suggests the force of belief and power generated by deep feelings. Water has been called the strongest of the elements. It overcomes all of the others. Belief, driven by the power of emotion and love, is most essential for the successful materialization of magical workings. “To Keep Silent” reflects the Earth powers. Perhaps one point of importance here is a reminder from earlier times when the safety of witches was a concern. An indiscretion back then could have led to persecution by hostile outsiders. However the message of the Earth principle is deeper than that. Talking about a project dissipates its effectiveness and lessens its chances of reaching a successful ending. Keeping quiet about goals and projects until they are attained is an important part of real magic. Think of how seeds need time to rest and mature while planted and buried quietly in the ground until they are ready to germinate. Often authors won’t speak about a book until it is ready to be published as talking about it can jinx its success. Finally the principle “To Know” has a tie with the influence of the Air signs. Knowledge and information is essential to making the right choices. Education, whether acquired in a formal learning situation or through personal study, is valuable. Knowledge enables the witch in deciding what is worthwhile and how best to survive and cope with changes and challenges. Natural intellect refined by the gathering of facts combines in manifesting this final principle. It illustrates how best to direct valuable time and effort.
The cycles of the Sun, Moon and planets familiar to astrologers are also incorporated into the practice of witchcraft in a variety of ways. The seasons of the year are honored by eight major holidays, called sabbats. These draw upon the magic of the calendar, the yearly solar cycle. The spring equinox, often called Ostara, honors rebirth while bidding farewell to the previous cycle. It correlates with the start of the sign of Aries when the Sun crosses the Aries-Pisces cusp. This is Ostara, or Easter and it heralds the beginning of the zodiac, near March 21. Next comes Beltane or May Day, celebrated under the sign of Taurus. Observed on or near May 1, May Day is a growth and fertility sabbat. The summer solstice, also called Midsummer‘s Day, comes next. Celebrated near June 21, it is the longest day of the year on the Gemini-Cancer cusp. Midsummer’s Day ushers in the peak of the growing season and illuminates the brightest of potentials. Lammas, or August eve, is next. Celebrated near August 1 in the sign of Leo, it is a time for appreciating the year’s early harvest. Lammas comes from a word meaning loaf-mass and honors the breads and grains which provide the staff and continuity of life. The autumnal equinox, also called Mabon, follows. This is when the day and night are nearly equal again, on the cusp of Virgo and Libra, near September 23rd. The year is half way through. The past and future meet, it’s a time to reflect upon what has gone before and to prepare for the times ahead. The beauties of autumn and seasonal changes which reflect the entire human experience are suggested by the beginning of autumn. Halloween, also called Samhain, which means “summer’s end” comes next. Celebrated during the time of Scorpio on October 31, it correlates with the Celtic New Year and reflects the early pagan beliefs in the power of this time. The dead are honored, the growing darkness is embraced, the time when the weather changes are greatest is about to begin, suggesting extremes and new dimensions afoot. The winter solstice, also called Yuletide comes next. Celebrated on the Sagittarius-Capricorn cusp on the longest night of the year, Yule correlates with the winter holiday season. It’s a time of hope and encouragement, of honoring faith in the eternal turning of the natural wheel. Yule, which comes from a word meaning wheel, brings reminders of the cycles of the seasons which bring order and direction to life itself. Finally comes the last of the eight holidays in the witches’ year, Candlemas or Imbolc. It’s celebrated on or near February 2, under the sign of Aquarius. Candlemas brings the first glimmer of the spring ahead. The cold, dark days of deep winter are waning. Its name suggests the candles which are lit at this time to welcome the gradual return of the Sun. The name Imbolc translates ewe’s or sheep’s milk. This honors the birth of a new generation of lambs and other creatures.
The zodiac familiar to astrologers is observed in the practice of witchcraft as the turning of a wheel of life and the natural forces which propel it, ready to be directed and harnessed for healing and goodness. It has been said that a feminine force, called The Lady, oversees the spring and summer signs. The autumn and winter signs are often viewed as masculine, indicating the mysteries of death and harvest. Some practitioners have a different opinion, seeing the Sun, which is reborn at the winter solstice, ushering in a divine mother energy which builds in ecstasy and passion until the summer solstice when the harvest is in view. The Sun or divine son then sacrifices himself at Lammas to protect and provide for a new birth to come.
The monthly Full and New Moons are called esbats, from a French word which means “to frolic”. The lunations are regularly observed by many who follow the path of Wicca. Each one is given a name and assigned a particular quality, these mirror the meanings used by astrologers in interpreting the Moon‘s signs and phases in horoscopes. The Full and New Moons mark times to nurture or diminish as well as times to honor and observe the various spiritual energies which are active each month. Rituals conducted then enable the witch to make the best use of the celestial power tides. For example at a Full Moon, when the energy reaches a culmination, dream work can be undertaken or a ritual to lose weight might be arranged. At the New Moon a prosperity spell to draw increase income and opportunity can be started. Often a wish list is written on the day of the New Moon and witches will delight in watching the wishes materialize as the Moon waxes toward the Full phase two weeks later. If you would like to attempt a simple spell yourself, merely check the New Moon, as shown in the Daily Moon Calendar in The Witches’ Almanac write your wish list just as takes place. Keep in mind the four principles, “To Dare“, “To Have Faith“, “To Keep Silent” and “To Know”, while writing the list. Be careful what you wish for, it is very likely that at

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