what does the solar eclipse and the summer solstice mean for you?

so, yeah. This month, right? Has it been chock full of upheaval, transformation, and struggle for you?

I think we’re all feeling it in a variety of ways right now, but, as a diehard optimist, I know that for every uncomfortable and even downright unenjoyable time in life, there is a rebirth (or at least the potential for it, if you take it) that leaves us in a much better place, stronger, and, certainly, more resilient.

We experienced a lunar eclipse on the full moon this month on the 5th, and now we’re headed for a solar eclipse on the 20th just hours before the new moon on the 21st, which is also Litha, or the Summer Solstice.

And then, on top of that, on that particular day, there will be 5 planets in retrograde on that day as well! Once Neptune goes retrograde, there will be 6 planets retrograde for a short period of days.

So, the question on everyone’s mind is probably, should I hide in my closet for about 24 hrs, burn my house down and escape to the woods, or do nothing at all?

Let’s Take a Look at the Retrogrades First

Mercury goes retrograde at 12:59 AM on the 18th. Venus is still in retrograde until the 25th at 2:48 AM. Jupiter is still in retrograde. Saturn is still in retrograde. And Pluto is still in retrograde.

Neptune does not go retrograde until a couple days after the eclipse/solstice (on the 23rd at 12:32 AM).

Those 3 outer planets remain in retrograde throughout the month, and because they are slower moving planets, their retrogrades individually do not affect our day-to-day as much, they are more ‘big picture’ stuff (like revolution and transformation!!).

But, because Mercury and Venus are personal planets and have more effect on our lives and situations, how does their combined retrograde affect us, even when there’s not an eclipse?

  1. When Mercury is in retrograde, you will tend to see impact on communication and technology, sometimes travel.
  2. When Venus is in retrograde, it will tend to impact relationships and money
  3. They won’t necessarily be conjunct, because Mercury will be at 14° Cancer and Venus will be at 5° Gemini
  4. You can expect that you will likely experience all the ‘normal’ stuff you would during these retrogrades, but Mercury’s effects will be felt most strongly by Cancer (whose sign it occurs in) and Capricorn (whose sign opposes it) and Venus’s effects will be felt most strongly by Gemini (whose sign it occurs in) and Sagittarius (whose sign opposes it).
  5. Venus goes direct on June 25th at 2:48 AM. So there may be a bit of tailing off of the effects of this retrograde by the 21st, as Venus does not experience the ‘storm’ that Mercury does when it retrogrades and prepares to go direct.

Its probably safe to say at least that you should delay financial and romance/relationship decisions until after the 25th and that between June 18th and July 13th (when Mercury goes direct again), plan to give yourself extra time to get things done, as Mercury will potentially throw a wrench in your travel and technology.

But What About the Solar Eclipse?

Solar eclipses have historically been transformative influences, and this one falling on an important seasonal, astrological, and traditionally pagan day may have some further implications.

First, the solstice occurs on the 20th and the eclipse technically occurs on the 21st, but the proximity is still going to have the potential to produce some important energetic shifts we can take advantage of.

The solstice is the longest day of the year. The sun reaches its highest point in the sky relative to the horizon – the day with the most hours of sunlight and least hours of dark. It has been traditionally heralded as the marker of the beginning of summer.

The solar eclipse occurs just minutes before the exact time of the new moon (June 21st 2:40 AM and June 21st 2:42 AM, respectively). A solar eclipse is when the moon is exactly between the Earth and the Sun and blocks our view of the sun as the moon transits across its image on its way through our view.

One way to think about the type of energy that eclipses bring is that they grab your hand which has been hovering over that button and forcefully push it. They force your hand, push you forward, and give you a small rocket-boost thrust of energy into the future.

Solar eclipses are new beginnings, because they occur during and take advantage of the new moon energy happening at the time. So they will affect us by pushing us out that door (or window) into the next phase of our lives (or an aspect of our lives) rather abruptly. They don’t let us stand on the threshold and hem and haw, babes.

The solar eclipse happening on the 21st also occurs in Cancer and, since I’m a Cancer, I’m just gonna be real: be prepared to dive deep inside and confront the realities of parts of your life you KNOW you are not happy with. You will have some stark and sudden realizations that you want and need to be on a different path.

And the feels. There will be so many feels.

This transformative and intense journey will begin within you, and put you on your way to the next stage, whether that is a career change, a relationship beginning (or ending), or new opportunities. But these will come at the expense of your comfort and procrastination. You will be compelled to act. And act you should.

This is also the perfect time to harness the energy of abundance in your life. Ask your spirit guides, deities, or ancestors, or simply your own spirit, for the guidance and opportunities to expand the areas of your life you are ready to expand. Abundance isn’t just financial, remember.

Above all else, don’t stress.

I am a firm believer that things like the retrogrades only have the influence we allow them to.

If you’re constantly worried about Mercury retrograde, then, yes, it will jack with your life because you’re living in that energy. If you forget about it and just go about your life, being careful, but not worried or overly cautious, you’ll get through it without even knowing it!

btw, for all your Litha and summer magick or rituals, pick up a bottle of my Litha spell oil (its good all summer long, really) to pump up the energy and volume of your spells and magickal work.

clean your house, bwitch

Since we’re all staying home so much more and have all this extra time, our homes are all spotless.

*hysterical laughter ensues*

*it keeps on going*

*the laughter quickly engulfs the entirety of the magickal community with how absurd this thought is*

*sighs*

Yeah, so if you’re like me, despite ‘theoretically’ having more time at home, your home is or has not consistently been as spotless as one might expect given the increased attention it may be receiving as of late.

Its probably at least a little bit chaotic, has piles of things in random places, pet or child-related evidence are accumulating on your upholstery at an alarming rate, and its impossible to keep up with the dust, let alone the laundry.

And all that ‘stuff,’ spiritual, psychic, physical, and emotional is hovering on your baseboards, corners of the stairs, around the table legs, and crammed into that little impossible space where the bottom of your cabinet meets your fridge.

This debris, if you will, weighs on your mind. you see it when you get up to get a snack or refill your coffee cup. you see it when its morning and that morning sun streaming through the windows hits your wood stairs just right, as if to say ‘hey, i just wanted you to know how fucking dirty your stairs are, okay?’

And physical debris carries with it more than just physical effects – its the psychological and spiritual effects that tend to be what weighs the most.

We genuinely feel bad that we’re not cleaning, and that we have no really good excuses for not doing so.

We know we need to tackle this, but there’s netflix. we know we need to put away laundry, but there’s hulu. we know we need to just start with one small thing, but someone on facebook needs to know our opinion.

Physically cleaning your home has more than just physical benefits. it lifts so much weight from your shoulders and reminds you how good a freshly cleansed space feels. you breathe easier, but you also feel easier. (and, i don’t know about you, but i stop feeling like a total slob when i do this lol)

It discourages the spiritual loafers who may find their way in and stick around in those dusty corners. it drives out the unwanted psychic guests who thrive amid chaos and the thoughts of self-loathing that accompany our occasional bouts of disorganization.

Just burning sage isn’t enough to really thoroughly cleanse a space on every plane, IMO.

And if you’ve ever really deep cleaned even just one room in your house and you felt just how good it felt to be in there, you know what i mean.

So, because its the new moon, and the new moon is all about letting things go, let’s physically, but also psychically and emotionally, cleanse our spaces.

Get in there and scrub, vacuum, wipe, organize, whatever your house is asking from you right now.

I like to start with the thing that is the most obvious, that will give me the biggest ‘bang for my buck’ once its done. for me, this is usually my baseboards that are constantly accumulating enough fur to build a whole new dog each month.

Btw, here’s a trick i use for my house that lifts the vibes of any room i use it in. and i use it a LOT because my entire (big old historic) house is wood floors, huge tall windows that love dust and cobwebs, old ornate baseboards, and carved wooden staircases.

To any all natural cleaner spray, or simply a bottle of 3 parts distilled water to 1 part distilled vinegar, add 20 drops cinnamon EO, 20 drops clove EO, 15 drops cedar EO, and 10 drops myrrh EO. shake well before spraying. it works awesome in a spray bottle as well as with swiffer-type mops.

These essential oils discourage invasive or unwanted spiritual hangers-on, but also make appealing or welcoming environments for beneficial and helpful energy and spirits, such as ones you may work with regularly, or just ones you may want to work with.

how to create higher vibe surroundings to be more magickal

if you’re like most people who are drawn to the occult and witchcraft, you’re likely more in tune (or very in tune) with the energy and vibes of people, places, and things around you. call it auras, call it energy, call it vibes, call it what you like, but you can feel it.

and you’ve likely at least unconsciously realized that some people, places, and things are ‘higher vibe’ than others. you go there or hang out with them or are around them and just feel like you’re refilling your cup.

try explaining this to someone who has closed off their intuitive and vibrational self and they’ll think you’re fucking crazy. you’re not crazy and you’re definitely not alone in these observations.

what does this have to do with being magickal?

higher vibes make your vibes higher

some of the smartest people i know in this spiritual pursuit will tell you that science and witchcraft are two studies of the exact same thing, just different perspectives.

and that thing is energy. energy is what holds us (and everything around us) together. its the chemical bonds between the atoms and between those atoms’ electrons, protons, and neutrons.

and some of us feel that energy better than others. and if you are such a person, you’re much more sensitive to your surroundings when they are putting off increased energy, whether good or bad.

in high vibration places, for instance, you can walk in and immediately sense the place. you can sense how old it is, how many people have been there, important events that have imprinted maybe, or maybe you feel deeply inspired, or compelled to take a deep breath to appreciate the view.

or, perhaps conversely, you walk in and immediately want to leave. you can feel negative emotions permeating, or previous negative energies that have existed and left a mark. maybe the people there are what are giving off the negative vibes, or maybe the place itself is. either way, you feel like its draining you, you have to leave, and never come back.

whatever your reaction, you’re picking up on the vibes of the place. and the higher the vibes in a place 0r with a person, the higher your own vibes raise, just by sharing that same energy. if you’re in a good and positive high vibe environment, you’ll not only find you’re more inspired, but usually more productive, and feel better about yourself.

these places stand out to us, and they’re different for many of us, but when we have the opportunity to go spend time somewhere, we usually immediately think of a few places that we intuitively lean toward as our high vibe choices.

make note of this the next time a friend or partner, or even just yourself, asks you ‘hey do you want to go grab a cup of coffee or hang out somewhere?’ what immediately comes to mind? there’s a good chance this is a high vibe place for you.

raising your own vibes to be more magickal

ok so we’ve identified that there are places or people you vibe with more. and hopefully you’ve got a sort of mental list running by now of who or where those are.

the way to use these to build your own magickal self is to strategically be around them more, but with purpose.

if you’ve been going through some ups and downs, or struggle to stay focused, find inspiration, or just need a boost – maybe you’re not that great at replenishing your own energy just now – this may be a great way to do that.*

i’ll use an example. i think we’ve all been to a coffee shop at least somewhere in our travels that just inspired the fuck out of us. like you sat down with your laptop or tablet and started jamming out written or visual content or art, or your brain just switched on and ideas flowed like an open faucet.

instead of this being a coffee shop for you, maybe it was a dusty old book store, or the woods near your grandparents’ house, or a diner downtown.

if you have such a place near you, or one you can get to at least weekly, plan a weekly ‘inspo outing’ and bring all your creative materials, or things to brainstorm with, plus plan on bringing something that you’re going to learn something new (a book, a webinar you’ve been meaning to watch, subscription to an educational website, Nat Geo magazine, whatever). make this an appointment with yourself and keep it.

i like to break up these sessions with a bit of educational stuff first. this gets my brain going and starts to turn on the idea centers. as soon as i find myself reaching for my phone or a notebook to write things down, i move on to creative mode. i write until the ideas stop.

then i go back and start developing some of those ideas a little more. what would it take to make this one come to fruition? can i do some market research on this one to see if anyone else is doing this yet? how many people are using this as a hashtag right now? which of these do i feel the most passionate about?

you get the idea. use your intuition for what you’re most drawn to, what you feel most passionate about, what you’re noticing as trends from others in your industry or field, or anything else that pulls you or compels you to follow a particular idea.

and then make some of these happen. even if they’re not things you’re planning to turn into a business, just create. the more you’re pouring your creative spirit into things you find important, the higher your own vibes will be.

raise the vibes of your own environment

now that we’ve found an external source of high vibes, what about just bringing up the vibes of our own environments?

this can be done through simple things like changing the colors in our rooms, adding plants, improving lighting, opening blinds or curtains, redistributing furniture, organizing items, purging unwanted stuff, and so on.

before you do any of that though, make a list of what the things are about your favorite high vibe environments. try to think of the features you find appealing there. is the building old? are there certain smells? is it the crowd noise? textiles or materials they’ve built things with? comfort? temperature? landscaping (indoor and out)? how many of these are things you can simulate or replicate elsewhere?

here’s another intuitive exercise. grab something to write with and start to answer these questions. you may need to sit and think or meditate on some that an answer does not intuitively come to you:

  • what colors are you most drawn to in your wardrobe?
  • what colors are you most drawn to in furniture or decorations in your home?
  • what sounds/music do you prefer to hear when you relax?
  • what sounds/music get you hyped?
  • do you vibe more in environments with a lot of plants?
  • do you vibe more in environments with a lot of books?
  • what scents do you react most to for things like awakening, calming, focus, etc?
  • are there animals you feel drawn to (besides your pets)?
  • are there archetypes that you feel drawn to, or that you identify more with?
  • are there symbols you feel drawn to or inspired by?
  • are there color schemes you find calming or relaxing? invigorating? exciting? inspiring?
  • are there materials (wood, linen, woven, plastic, metals, etc) that you prefer to be around or decorate with?

these are just a start. you can get really detailed with this. but questions like these should get you thinking and visualizing what an ideal high vibe environment would be for you.

perhaps you only have control over your own bedroom if you live with others. or perhaps your entire living space is up to you. whichever it is, if this is a place that you feel is a retreat for you, then it should vibe for you too.

this includes things like:

  • it should be clean (not necessarily perfectly organized, but not dirty; clean floors, walls, windows, baseboards, dust, trash, etc)
  • if you look at your things and feel stressed or overwhelmed, you have too many things or they are in disarray according to your intuitive self; organize things and consider getting rid of stuff you don’t need or use
  • energy of the space (cleanse or clear it regularly, especially if you live with others whose vibes leak over into your personal space or which do not mesh well with your vibes)
  • it represents who you are (culturally, religiously, personally, ethnically, demographically, technologically, magickally, or otherwise)

you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a space vibe for you. but your money will be randomly spent and potentially wasted if you just buy things that don’t tie into the overarching goal of working together to make your space higher vibe.

a good place to start with ‘how should i change this?’ or ‘what should i buy first?’ is picture what your ideal space would look like if money and time were not obstacles. what are the common themes between this picture and things you’ve already written down?

start with those common themes because, again, your intuitive self is pulling you there.

hopefully this gave you some ideas for incorporating elements into your life and environment that raise your own energy!

*at the time of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is still currently going strong in most areas of the US, so understandably, your options for being around people, and even some locations may be limited, so, that in mind, please continue to safely practice social distancing when possible if you choose to seek opportunities in public spaces

how to ground yourself after a spell

have you ever performed a spell and become overwhelmed by the energy you called in or raised, either before or after you focused it toward your intention?

have you ever felt absolutely drained, run over by a bus, a drowned cat, right after a spell?

if these are things you’ve experienced (and i think most of us have or will at some point in our practice), then congratulations, you’re working with powerful energy, but its also a bit imbalanced.

you either are calling up an excess – more than what you need for your particular intention- or you’re sending too much out with your focused intent.

this has happened to me a few times in the last month in the form of tears spilling over uncontrollably after i call in energy.

i don’t mean like i’m sad or angry, there’s just such a focused and intense concentration of energy in me, i’m vibrating so high, and there’s nowhere else for it to go, so it leaks out. its ok, though. i have found that grounding myself has helped immensely, so i’m here to share this for those who need to hear it today.

basic grounding exercise

grounding is simply the act of anchoring yourself to the earth and its energy, where you can balance your own internal energy most easily. humans are on the same wavelength as the planet on which we reside, all being carbon-based, so its our easiest source of balance.

in this exercise you’re either going to give back some of the excess energy you drew in or you’re going to take in a little more energy because you gave too much away during your spell.

refilling your cup

if you’re feeling drained, this is what you’ll do:

  1. sit or stand, soles of your feet on the ground. its most helpful if you do this outdoors, but if that’s not possible, on the ground floor of a building is the next best option, and if you can’t get to that, as close to a ground floor as you can find.
  2. take deep breaths in and out until your heart and mind are calm. picture a blank mind, focus on just one color, whatever that is you choose, and keep it in your mind as your breaths slow and become deeper.
  3. picture the core of the earth, glowing, bright and hot. picture a ray of that energy gradually flowing up toward you, like a river, going through layers of the earth’s crust, dirt, layer by layer.
  4. it reaches the surface and makes contact with the soles of your feet. bring it into you. picture it flowing upward through your legs, your hips, your torso, and now your heart. let it keep going, all the way to your crown.
  5. hold the energy in there as you take a few more deep breaths.
  6. picture the connection with the earth’s source disconnecting, like its cut or turned off. what you’ve taken in is yours now and you’ve let the rest go back to the earth.
  7. take a few more deep breaths here until you feel steady and refilled.

giving a little bit back

if you’ve called in too much energy and are feeling crushed or overwhelmed by it, you’re basically going to envision the opposite of taking in energy:

  1. calm your breathing as much as you can and still your mind to the extent possible.
  2. picture all the energy you’ve called in, slowly condensing into one great glowing ball within you.
  3. pull a small string of it out and let the string flow down your body, through your legs, and through the soles of your feet into the earth.
  4. now send that string down through the layers of the earth, down through the dirt, the crust, the rocks. let it reach the core where it connects to the energy there.
  5. gradually push some of that energy out of you through that string until you feel centered and balanced once again.
  6. let your breathing slow and your mind focus on this until you are no longer feeling overloaded or overwhelmed, and you have reached a state of calm.
  7. picture cutting the string with a pair of scissors. you keep what energy still remains in you, letting that ball start to dissipate and redistribute all throughout your body.
  8. continue to breathe deep here for a few more breaths until you are sure you’re fine.

as with all grounding, this is most effective when you can direct all of your focus to it, like a form of meditative visualization. if you are distracted, this will be less successful, so its best to perform this somewhere reasonably quiet where you can be undisturbed for however long you need to accomplish your grounding.

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