Thanks so much for saying yes to journeying with the Cyclical Wisdom Journal in 2023 – may it serve to deepen your self-knowledge and help you companion yourself through significant inner and outer change over the course of the year!
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This year it seems more important than ever to get clear on who we are, how we want to show up, and where we want to invest our energy ~ these tools and resources may aid you in this important work!
At its heart, Cyclical Wisdom Journalling is a long-term game ~ it’s a practice that builds on itself over time.
We benefit from the clarity we arrive at through the process of putting pen to paper.
We also benefit by looking back at who we were, recalling important lessons we learned, etc.
This ‘Snapshot of Now’ page provides a context to your Journalling, especially as you look back in future years.
Plus, it’s always powerful to name all the things we are holding and tending to ~ usually a lot! Becoming more aware in this way enables us to make conscious choices about how and where to invest our precious energy.
So, who are you right now? How would you describe yourself? What projects and plans do you have on the go? What’s your current cutting edge of growth?
Lay it all down, one page to go wild!
At the very end of your Journal, there’s one final circular ‘map’ which encompasses the whole year!
You can use this page to record significant events: weddings, travel, shifts, moving home, babies born, lifestyle changes, pandemic shifts… whatever.
Or, you might simply write one word for each Solstice and Equinox for how you were feeling then, and create a very succinct summary of the tone of your year.
Or you may not use it at all!
One friend adds in the four cross-quarter sabbats ~ creating a ‘pie’ that’s divided into eight slices. One year I might do this for all of us!
For another Journaller, this page enabled her to witness some bigger-picture patterns that were playing out in her family over the course of the year ~ which were difficult to pick up in the day-to-day.
Somehow it was The Fool who showed up to be on this year’s Journal cover, which felt fitting. We enter a year in which ‘beginner’s mind‘ will serve us well, I believe.
The Fool, in the Tarot, is major arcana 0 ~ the circle without beginning or end.
With every step, she brings the full body of her lived experience to the choices and opportunities of the present moment.
With every step, she is Becoming.
Bill Plotkin calls her The Wanderer, she who “searches for the seeds of her destiny in the more diverse, wild, and mysterious world of nature. She no longer conforms to nor rebels against society. She chooses a third way. She wanders, beyond the confines of her previous identity… (and) In her wandering, she makes her own path.”
New paths are clearly called for. May we have all the courage we need to walk them boldly…
The intro pages in the Cyclical Wisdom Journal contain some limited information about cycles and cyclical transformation, but here’s more that might be helpful to know, especially if you are new to the cyclical perspective.
There are a few different ways to interact with your menstrual cycle using the CWJ, if relevant to you.
Menstrual & Moon Cycle in Tandem
You may wish to record the days of your menstrual cycle in the pale boxes around the edge of each lunar month’s circular ‘map.’ Each box correlates to one day.
So, for example, if you were day 14 of your cycle on 2 Jan 2022, you’d write ’14’ in that box beside the New Moon (on page 11).
In this way, you can see at a glance how your menstrual cycle is dancing with the Moon cycle, as both wax and wane.
In addition, the menstrual tracker (on page 4) is a great way of getting a yearly overview of your cycle, as well as honing your self-awareness about the bodily cues and ‘events’ that occur throughout the month.
To use this tool , note the day and month of Day 1 of menstruating.
For example, if you started bleeding on the 28th January, you would write ‘28’ in the little box underneath the number 1, which signifies Day 1 of your menstrual cycle. And you would write JAN in the bigger box to the left.
Then you can continue to number the dates along the row: so ‘29’ under Day 2, ‘30’ under Day 3, ‘31’ under Day 4, ‘1’ (for the 1st Jan) under Day 5, etc.
Fill up most of the row, for however long your menstrual cycle usually is. If you’re not sure when your period will come again, stop short of a full cycle, and when the time comes, you can fill in accurately what happened.
When you bleed again, write the new date under Day 1, in the second row this time, and add the month to the left. Finish filling out the first row if necessary.
I find it helpful to add little symbols of the New and Full moons ~ again, so I can better understand my menstrual/lunar dance.
You can also mark events like ovulation, PMS, sensitive breasts, or any other menstrual cycle signposts, with your own ‘key’ of symbols.
If you can feel yourself ovulating, then you might see that it usually occurs 14 days before you bleed. Or you could map how your sore breasts are an indicator that your period will come in about seven days’ time. Useful stuff!
It’s powerful to know what phase of the Moon you were born under, because it’s something that affects us all every month!
Each phase of the Moon represents a part of the cycle of transformation. The phase of the Moon you were born under emphases a particular stage in that process, which you are called to explore and embody in this lifetime.
|New||Midwinter||Incarnate, Emerge, Project|
|Crescent||Late Winter/Early Spring||Overcome, Focus, Move Forward|
|First Quarter||Spring||Decide, Act, Build|
|Waxing Gibbous||Late Spring/Early Summer||Evaluate, Analyse, Perfect|
|Full||Midsummer||Culminate, Illuminate, Fulfill|
|Disseminating||Later Summer/Early Autumn||Distribute, Disseminate, Convey|
|Third Quarter||Autumn/Fall||Reevaluate, Turn Away, Revise|
|Balsamic||Late Autumn/Early Winter||Distill, Transform, Envision|
|Dark||Midwinter||Distill, Transform, Envision, Rest|
Our natal lunar phase can be our ‘happy place‘ in the lunar cycle. It may be a time of the month where you feel more comfortable, confident, calm and/or creative than usual.
So make the most of it!
Calculate your natal lunar phase
To calculate your natal lunar phase, head to timeanddate.com/moon/phases and enter your birth location at the top right (see image):
Then add your birth year at the top right of the table:
Find the phase of the Moon closest to your date of birth.
In my case, I was born on the 25th of January, 1980. I can see that there was a First Quarter Moon on the 24th of January, so I was born one day past the FQ Moon.
And each month, I certainly notice that this is my favourite place to be: on the ascent, working to give form to my ideas and dreams, more confident and extroverted than at other times, etc…
Also, I often bleed at this time of the month ~ my womb definitely has an affinity for this phase of the Moon!
Knowing our natal lunar phase is also super useful information because as fertile women, we can ovulate a second time when the Moon is in this phase, regardless of where we are in our menstrual cycle! Good to know, I’m sure you’d agree!
In the 1960s, Dr Eugen Jonas, a Czechoslovakian gynecologist was researching fertility rates in Catholic communities, and found that women can ovulate for a second time at their natal lunar phase, ie. when the Moon is in the same phase as it was when they were born.
Some women find they menstruate on their natal lunar phase. See if there’s any connection for you, between your menstrual cycle and natal lunar phase.
Mark your calendar!
You might like to mark your natal lunar phase on your calendar each month. Or you could colour it onto your circular map somehow.
You can also explore the moment by:
– drawing a picture or creating some art
– taking a fun photo of yourself and sticking it your Journal
– taking five minutes to jot down how you’re feeling
– writing a gratitude list, etc!
In doing so, you may be able to draw out powerful patterns and self-awareness regarding what this phase of the Moon means for you, and how to make the most of its significant opportunities!
The life cycle information in the Cyclical Wisdom Journal has been deeply influenced by my (Grace’s) experiences teaching and learning with the School of Shamanic Womancraft.
My teacher, Jane Hardwicke Collings, founder of the School, has a whole body of knowledge on her site that you may find useful, if you are wanting to learn more about the life cycle.
You may have heard of the Maiden-Mother-Crone ‘map’ of womanhood. From Jane, I learned of the life season of ‘Maga,’ which comes after Mother and before Crone.
In particular, you can learn more in this article.
You don’t need to stick with the name ‘Maga’ if it doesn’t feel right for you. Others have named this time of their lives Empress, Grandmother, Enchantress, Wise Woman… and more!
If you’d like to explore this work further, and reflect on how your rites of passage to date have influenced your current reality, you may appreciate being part of a Moonsong workshop or Earth Woman ecourse. You can find more information and locations here.
Cycles of Transformation Report
For more information about the current life cycle you are in, and some of the tasks and opportunities that this phase of life offers you, you are welcome to generate your own free Cycles of Transformation Report here, and feel free to invite anyone else to do the same!
This report also gives you information about the broader astrological cycles that often define, or interact with, our life stage.
Each year we journey through twelve and a half cycles of the Moon. That’s twelve fresh start moments, twelve cycles of transformation in which to experiment and learn!
The Cyclical Wisdom Journal offers a map of the eight Celtic festivals that punctuated the seasons and solar cycle in early white Western history, but obviously many of us no longer live in Europe or claim this lineage.
Each geographical place has a unique terrain, climate and seasonal pattern, and along with that, a unique indigenous cultural story.
Wherever we are, and whatever our heritage, there is a distinct call both to become more attuned to the land around us, and more aware of the indigenous approach to this land.
Part of this involves staying present to racist truths and hurtful histories, in the hopes that we can slowly dismantle these ways of relating, within us, and show up differently in our multicultural world.
Here are a bunch of ideas and resources that may help in this regard, far from comprehensive, so let’s keep adding to the list! If you come across a resources that’s helpful in this regard, let me know …
Each New Moon is a fresh start; make the most of it by setting an intention!
An intention is like a compass, helping us stay true to our vision as we navigate a world of clamouring agendas, values and ‘noise.’
The point here isn’t to set yourself up as a ‘failure’ if you don’t ‘achieve’ your intention, but rather, to grow by journeying with your soulful desire throughout the month, wherever it takes you.
If you want to take this intention-setting to the next level, you could create an intention (or 3 max) for each week and even each day, as well!
I have so appreciated learning this approach from Benjamin Hardy and combining it with my CWJ intention-setting.
For example, last November, with the New Moon in Scorpio, I set this intention:
I reclaim my lawful place in the world and I invest in the conscious, creative, diverse community my heart desires.
I listed my ‘Big 3’ for the month ~ three projects I was hoping to get done, which were practical but also felt connected to my NM intention.
(Three is pretty much always too ambitious for me, I should probably limit myself to one, so I can build a positive story that I DO actually manage to achieve my goals, rather than the story that I never quite get there!).
Then, as the month rolled out, I created a ‘Big 3’ each week, based on what needed to happen to move those three monthly projects forward. Each weekly Big 3 had a list of sub-tasks which I used to create a daily ‘Big 3.’
It somehow felt like a revelation, to create my intentions/Big 3 in this ‘nested‘ kind of way: the same vision becoming increasingly granular or specific as the time-frame reduced.
This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – to get so nitty-gritty about daily choices, actions and time spent – but it’s certainly powerful to know what your most important actions and investments are each day.
As a counterpoint, I want to add that some months, there is no worded intention that arises within me: and my intention page stays blank ~ that’s perfectly okay too!
(Reminds me of the natural yin/yang, inhale/exhale of the lunar cycle…)
This year I’ve added an astro piece to the Journal that I invite you to take or leave! I’ve included it in the hopes that if helps you make the most of real-world opportunities arising each month, as reflected in the cosmic mirror!
Let me explain…
In your natal chart, each of the twelve zodiac signs correlates to one of twelve ‘houses’ that represent twelve practical arenas of life.
(See the Astrology section, below, for how to create your natal chart!)
Your Ascendant, or Rising Sign, determines which zodiac sign is on the 1st house, and therefore the configuration of all the rest.
This table shows a list of Rising Signs in the left-hand column. Your Rising Sign is always on the 1st house. So, if you read the row for Cancer Rising, you can see that four cells across, there’s the column for Cancer, and it has a ‘1’ in there, showing that Cancer is on the 1st house, then the following sign, Leo, is on the 2nd house, etc.
Armed with this information, you can calculate a ‘Monthly Theme‘ for each Moon cycle, based on the Moon’s rotation through the zodiac signs (and therefore, through the twelve houses of your natal chart).
For example, if I have a Sagittarius Ascendant and there’s a New Moon in Capricorn – ie. we are starting a Capricorn lunar month – I can see that my 2nd house is receiving this increased lunar activity. (See the highlight in the table above.)
I can explore how this lunar energy is being expressed particularly through the 2nd house concerns of personal resources. livelihood, self-worth and values (see page 6 of your Journal for house descriptions).
I could explore what it means to be in an ‘Embody my Values’ kind of month. What opportunities of this sort do I want to make the most of?
Each set of lunar cycle pages has space to record this information (see example below). You may like to fill these in all in the one sitting, say, at the beginning of the year, and then, as each month rolls around, you can experiment and see if the zodiac sign and house concerns feel resonant or relevant (or not).
Here’s what I might in my Journal, in the case of the above example:
THE SIGN OF CAPRICORN FALLS ON MY 2nd HOUSE, SO THIS MONTH I AM INVITED TO Embody my Values.
I EXPRESS THIS EARTHY NEED TO FEEL SUCCESSFUL PARTICULARLY THROUGH MY income, possessions, assets, livelihood, natural talents, values and self-esteem.
If helpful, you can download this ‘Monthly Theme’ info as a pdf and keep it with your Journal to help you fill these monthly sections in.
The circular maps each month are the heartland of the CWJ, the bit that’s been present in all eight version of its evolution!
On this page you can record your life in shorthand as it unfolds each month! Include significant events; workshops & classes; trips away; key conversations and realisations; emotional triggers; highs and lows; how you’re feeling at random moments; anything important to you, etc ~ write them all on your map.
It’s fine if it looks messy! And it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else!
The point is to anchor some of your lived experience, to be able to see your month at a glance on one page. This is invaluable for when you are looking back in future years!
It will also provide a context for your prayers and intentions and aid you in perceiving patterns, possibilities and ‘perpetual dilemmas.’
Alternatively, perhaps you sum up your week in one word, so that you end up with four words written on your map ~ a very succinct description of the tone of your month!
If you are menstruating, you may wish to record the Day of your cycle in the pale boxes on the outside of the map.
Others have used those boxes to add the dates/days of the month, or coloured them in to designate menstrual cycle phases.
You might also want to mark your Natal Lunar Phase on here.
Seeking Patterns and Possibilities
Once the lunar month is finished, have a look at your circular map. Can you see any patterns or connections?
How have your intentions/experiences/questions at the New Moon woven through the whole cycle? Do you have a new perspective on these things now at the end of the cycle?
What have you written on opposite sides of the circle? Are these experiences connected, do they speak to each other?
How has the archetypal need represented by the zodiacal sign of this particular New Moon infused your experience this cycle (if at all)?
If you’ve been CWJournalling for while, what were you living/praying this time last year? Or two years ago?
The Journal is punctuated by a series of ‘prayers‘ or affirmations inspired by the sign and phase of the Moon.
These prayers are already true. They already exist in a parallel reality. There’s no force require to make them happen; instead, we are invited to flow into them, embody them, feel them, in our current reality.
And they are always ‘We’ prayers because the path forward is a collective, collaborative one ~ I am sure of it. We’re in this together. The answers we need will emerge out of our communal desire for truth and love.
Lastly, the Moon’s movement through the zodiac signs creates unique configurations of the four prayers each month ~ I like this ‘oracular‘ or serendipitous quality, and reading the four prayers together is a teaching on how the signs relate to each other (elementally, modally, etc).
The first two Tarot cards listed each month are associated with that month’s New Moon zodiac sign, eg. XV The Devil and the Queen of Pentacles are both associated with Capricorn.
The final card listed is associated with the particular decan where the moon phase is falling. The decans split the 30 degrees of each zodiac sign into three sets of ten degrees. Each decan has a Tarot suit card associated with it.
So, the first New Moon in the Journal, falling at 1 Capricorn, occurs in the first decan, the first ten degrees of Capricorn, which is associated with the Two of Pentacles in the tarot.
(If you want to geek out a little more, the Three of Pentacles is associated with 10-19 degrees of Capricorn and the Four of Pentacles with 20-29 degrees of Capricorn, then we move on to the next Earth sign, moving from cardinal to fixed to mutable. So, the Five of Pentacles is associated with 0-9 degrees of the fixed sign of Taurus, the Six with 10-19 Taurus, and so on…)
Hope that makes sense!
I’m imagining you could use your favourite deck to lay out these three cards and receive a visual ‘lesson’ about what that particular moon phase moment might be asking of you!
The Cyclical Wisdom Journal invites you to reflect on your life with weekly questions and archetypal lunar ‘prayers’ inspired by the sign and phase of the Moon.
I have tried to make the questions as open-ended as possible, but please take or leave them!
It would be equally as potent to document your answers to the humble but potent question, ‘What is arising?’
The questions provide an alternative way to document your life, as distinct from the more visual notations you might add to your monthly circular ‘map,’ though obviously there may be some overlap.
Of all the stages in the cycle of transformation, the final ones are the most undervalued, neglected and misunderstood.
Think about it, when do PMS, menstruation, Winter or old age ever get lauded? Which advertising agencies are using these experiences to sell new cars and the latest phone?!
But in the cycle of transformation EVERY phase is essential. Every phase is valuable!
To combat our cultural story, therefore, we need to bring extra consciousness to the ending of the cycle ~ any cycle!
Finishing well is a rare art, and we are going to cultivate it!
Letting go is a muscle, and we are going to strength it!
That’s why there’s space devoted in the CWJ each month to capture your ‘Dark Moon Digestion’ at the end of each lunar cycle – a chance to name what you’ve learned, what you are grateful for, and what you are letting go of.
As well as this, each month there’s a suggestion to help you get creative with your ‘composting’ efforts!
See below for instructions for a few such creative processes.
This is a simple, open-ended art therapy process which you can use anytime to digest your experience!
STEP ONE: PICK OUT WORDS AND PHRASES
Look over your journalling for the current lunar cycle and write out any words and phrases that jump out at you, on a separate piece of paper.
Then cut them up, akin to magnetic poetry on your fridge!
If you can bring yourself to, cut up any phrases so their meaning dissolves further… (isn’t funny how we get attached to particular meanings and ideas!)
STEP TWO: SURVEY THE TERRAIN
Lay out your words, and start playing around with them, arranging them in ways that feel pleasing to you, or delightfully unexpected, or potently juxtaposed, or plain random, etc…
STEP THREE: MAKE POETRY!
Allow new phrases to come together, visual configurations, lists of kindred words, unexpected intersections of meaning, whatever makes sense to you…
You don’t have to use all the words you’ve written out and cut up – just use the ones that resonate, and let the rest go.
There is NO RIGHT OR WRONG here, of course!
There is no one else to please here, just you!
This process can invite you into new ways of perceiving your experience, as well as inviting curiosity, cultivating gratitude, and opening up new possibilities.
Hopefully you gain a sense of perspective, just a little more inner spaciousness, creativity and compassion than there was before!
Once you’ve reached a point of completion, stick your poetry onto a page and add it to your CWJournal!
This creative digestion suggestion for the ‘New Moon in Aquarius’ pages in the Cyclical Wisdom Journal is a bit tech-y (cos, you know, *Aquarius*!!), so I’ve created this tutorial to walk you through the process and make it as easeful as possible!
STEP ONE: GATHER YOUR ‘DATA’
Type out your CWJ content for the month. You could choose to use:
Bung it all into a Word doc or Google doc or Note… This took me about ten minutes. Skip punctuation. Common words like ‘the’ are removed in the next step, so you can type them up, or not, whatever helps your typing flow!
With two words that refer to the one thing, like women’s circle, I combined into one word.
Use as much or as little of your journalling as you like.
Select your slab of text and copy it, ready to paste in the next step…
STEP TWO: IMPORT YOUR LIST
Head to a wordcloud generator such as WordArt.
Click on ‘Import’ and paste your list of words in there.
Have a look at the words, delete people’s names perhaps, or any words that don’t feel relevant to this distillation exercise. (eg. the word ‘others’ came up a lot for me, but it didn’t feel particularly insightful, so I deleted it.)
STEP THREE: HAVE A PLAY!
Now you can play around with shapes, fonts, layouts and styles. Click the red ‘Visualise’ button to see the effects of your choices – have fun!
= = =
TAKE THINGS FURTHER?
If you’d like to hone in on what your month has held, by refining your word list, read on!
This is useful if, for example, you only want to create wordcloud with words that came up at least twice throughout the month. So you want to delete all the words that only showed up once.
To do this, import your list as per the instructions above.
Then head to ‘Download,’ scroll to the bottom of the list and select ‘Words data in CSV.’
This will download a CSV file (comma separated value file) to your Downloads folder (or wherever).
Open this file, and it will look a bit gobble-de-gooky, perhaps like this:
Don’t worry though, that’s easy fixed!
With that first column highlighted, head to the ‘Data‘ tab and select ‘Text to Columns.’ (If you’re using Google Spreadsheets, head to the ‘Data’ tab and select ‘Spread text to columns.’
That will open up a little wizard: choose ‘Delimited’ in the first screen, and then select ‘semi colons‘ in the second screen and hit next until the wizard is done.
That should separate out the columns for you – delete the ones with irrelevant info, eg. anything beyond the first two columns.
From here, you can delete all the words that only showed up once, ie. they have a ‘1’ beside them.
You can also sort the list alphabetically and combine any words that are similar.
For example, if my list had ‘1 coach’ and ‘3 coaching’, I would combine into ‘4 coaching’ and delete the ‘1 coach.’
Once you’ve tidied your list, you can reimport to WordArt. Copy the two columns (one with a number and one with a word).
Head back to WordArt and clear the current word list.
Click on ‘Import,’ delete the words that are there and paste in your new list. Remember to select the ‘CSV format’ button, cos you are pasting from a CSV file.
Alright, now you can have fun working with your refined word list ~ enjoy!
Yasmin Boland. Moonology: Working with the Magic of Lunar Cycles. London, UK: Hay House, 2016.
Simone Butler. Moon Power: Lunar Rituals for Connecting with your Inner Goddess. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press, 2017.
Steven Forrest. The Book of the Moon: Discovering Astrology’s Lost Dimension. Borrego Springs, CA: Seven Paws Press Inc, 2010.
Lori Reid. Moon Magic: How to use the Moon’s Phases to Inspire and Influence your Relationships, Homoe Life and Business. Carlton Books Ltd, 1998.
Ezzie Spencer. Lunar Abundance: Cultivating Joy, Peace and Purpose using the Phases of the Moon. Running Press, 2018.
Based on your unique place in this world!
Carolyn Briggs. The Journey Cycles of the Boonwurrung: stories with Boonwurrung Language. Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL)
Robin Wall Kimmerer. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions, 2013.
Minmia. Under the Quandong Tree. Mogo, New South Wales : Quandong Dreaming Publishing, 2007.
Bruce Pascoe. Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture. Magabala Books, 2014.
Layla F. Saad. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2020.
Tyson Yunkaporta. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. Harper One, 2020.
If you are interested in the astro lens, and want to know which of the archetypal zodiac energies you are journeying most closely with in this lifetime, you’ll need a copy of your natal chart, which is essentially a map of the sky at the moment of your birth.
You’ll need your birth date, birth time and birth location. (If you don’t know your exact birth time, put ‘unknown’)
You can create a free, nice, simple-looking one over at Chani Nicholas’s site: https://chart.chaninicholas.com/
Or here’s how you can create one (for free) with a bit more detail at astro.com
(Apologies, their menus have shifted around a little since I made this video ~ from the ‘hamburger’ menu on the left, select Free Horoscopes > Horoscope Drawings & Data > Extended Chart Selection.)
This year I’m going to stick my chart on the inside front cover of my Journal, for easy access!
With astrology, it’s easy to become inundated with information! I invite you focus on getting to know the ‘four main players’ in your natal chart: your Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Ascendant Ruler.
Sun = ☉
Soul Essence, life force, vitality
Moon = ☽
Embodiment, emotions, childhood conditioning, instinct
Ascendant = AC
Persona, mask, how we face the world
Ascendant Ruler = ?
‘Captain’ of our ‘Ship,’ guiding our life to its destination
This final ‘player’ requires some working out! First, what is the sign of your Ascendant? You have a list of glyphs on page 7 of your Journal that can help you work this out, once you have your natal chart.
As an example, here’s a piece of Jo Bloggs’ chart. We can see her Ascendant, as symbolised by the letters AC, is in a sign that has a glyph like this: l
Looking on page 7 of our Journal, we can ascertain that that glyph represents the water sign of Pisces.
So, Jo Bloggs has a Pisces Ascendant! If you read the keywords associated with Pisces, we can make an educated guess that she greets the world with a compassionate, empathetic, sensitive face…
Now to work out her Ascendant Ruler, we need to know which planet ‘rules’ the sign of Pisces.
Here are the traditional ‘rulers’ for each sign:
Aries = ruled by Mars
Taurus = ruled by Venus
Gemini = ruled by Mercury
Cancer = ruled by the Moon
Leo = ruled by the Sun
Virgo = ruled by Mercury
Libra = ruled by Venus
Scorpio = ruled by Mars (Pluto in modern astrology)
Sagittarius = ruled by Jupiter
Capricorn = ruled by Saturn
Aquarius = ruled by Saturn (Uranus in modern astrology)
Pisces = ruled by Jupiter (Neptune in modern astrology)
So, Jo Bloggs has Jupiter as her Ascendant Ruler, journeying with this expansive, benefic energy as the ‘Captain of her Ship.’
How about you?
If it’s helpful, here are some printable worksheets to help you land your Four Main Players!
Knowing your ‘Four Main Players’ and the signs they are in, you can ‘predict,’ to a certain extent, that whenever there’s a New Moon or Full Moon in these signs ~ particularly within roughly 3 degrees of your Main Players ~ you may experience more tangible ‘effects.’
Those effects are unique to you, though there are certainly common themes. Over time, you can build up your own embodied understanding of astrology, simply by paying attention to what’s going on in your life when the Moon is ‘activating’ these key energies (as symbolised by your Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Ascendant Ruler).
So, Jo Bloggs will be keeping an eye on lunar cycles where there are New Moons or Full Moons in Pisces, Aquarius and Capricorn – because her Ascendant, Sun and Moon are in these signs, respectively. (We’d need to see more of her chart to see where Jupiter, her Ascendant Ruler is.)
The cycles of the slower moving planets mirror the unfolding of various life stages – mid-life, eldership, etc.
You may have heard of your Saturn Return (age 28-29) or Chiron Return (age 49-50). It’s handy to know if you have any of these major transitions coming up!
You can discover your next major astrological ‘rite of passage’ in your free Cycles of Transformation report.
(also see the Lunar Cycle section)
Demetra George. Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand and Interpret your Own Birth Chart. Lake Worth, Florida, Ibis Press, 2015 (1987).
Chani Nicholas. You were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance. HarperOne, 2020.
Astro Rites of Passage
Virginia Bell. Midlife is not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life. Newburyport, MA: Weiser Books, 2017.
Erin Sullivan. The Astrology of Midlife and Aging. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2005.
The Cyclical Wisdom Journal 2023 kicks off on the 23rd of December with the New Moon in Capricorn, just a day or two after the Solstice, so there’s plenty of time to get yourself printed and sorted!
Just to be 100% clear, the Journal doesn’t really work if you leave it as a digital file, and attempt to add to it on your computer.
Getting it onto paper is an important step!
Please factor in some time and headspace for this task: manifesting something on the physical plane takes energy, eh.
That said, perhaps you just print it month by month. Whatever works for you.
A FEW CONSIDERATIONS
Standard 80gsm/24lb paper is fine, but it will probably feel a touch more robust and enjoyable on 100gsm/28lb paper.
Just so you know, the CWJ is designed to be printed double-sided, and there is a slight difference in the margin size of odd and even pages, to accommodate a binding.
If you’re only printing some pages, make sure you always start your printing with an odd number, then the pages will come out correctly.
I love the look of full bleed, where the colour comes right to the edge. Some printers and print places can do that, others can’t.
Some years I print the cover on photo paper – it’s still a relatively cheap print job, it brings out the colours, and the paper is just thick enough to act as a cover.
At the end of each month there’s an invitation to do a creative process, and I often end up sticking my art into my journal opposite the Dark Moon digestion page.
For this reason, you may like to print the pages “intentionally left blank” which have a set of four moon phase ‘prayers’ on the back, on thicker or coloured paper, to function as a kind of divider between each lunar cycle.
To do this, you’ll need 14 sheets. Perhaps you have specialty paper lying around the house from another project (I love the serendipity of using what’s at hand!).
Or, just had the thought that you might like to write the moon phase prayers out by hand, rather than print them?
Regardless of what you choose to do, here is a doc of just these ‘cusp’ pages so you can print them easily.
→ A4 size
You may choose to get your Journal bound at the beginning of the year, or at the end.
Or not at all, perhaps you keep it in a folder!
The one thing I found binding my Journal at the end of the year, with all my entries in it, was that it felt a wee bit exposing to hand it over to a random stranger. That said, I know they wouldn’t give a shit about what I’d written!
Hope that helps!