Monthly Archives: January 2021

This point in the agricultural calendar is marked by the ploughing of the soil to allow it to prepare for the seed, and any energy work performed now is all about groundwork. The surface of the earth appears barren, but the life force is stirring beneath. Ask yourself what you need to prepare in order to plant the seeds of your dreams this year.

The Celtic fire festival of Imbolc (2 February) falls in the Rowan Moon, lending this time associations with the goddess Brigid to whom the festivities are dedicated. This is the perfect time to perform initiations and for spells of power and success.

  • Dates: January 21 thru February 17
  • Celtic Name: Luis
  • Language of Flowers: Prudence
  • Qualities: protection, magical, healing, light, spring,
  • Color: White
  • Themes: Hearth and Home, Family, Personal Power, Spirituality, Success, Protection.

Known as the Bride, Brigid represents the mother of the new-born Sun and all candle energy work is sacred to her. Like the snowdrops peeking out of the ground to meet the goddess, white is a powerful symbol during this month.

During the Rowan Moon wear white to cast energy, use white candles and feast on white foods to attune to the season. Begin spring cleaning now. As the light increases, you will need to clear out your clutter with all your energy to make way for new growth. Have a Rowan Moon dinner party and ask your guests to wear white, dine by candlelight and eat seeds such as beans, pulses and nuts.

Look for the first snowdrops of the season and make a wish when you see one. Snowdrops hold the potential of spring. Tie a white ribbon on a rowan tree while saying the names of those you love. The tree will send out healing vibrations to them.

Known by the Celts as Luis (pronounced loush), the Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power, and success. A charm carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm. The Norsemen were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.

Rowan the Thinker

Rowan is the philosophical sign of the Celtic zodiac. People born under this Celtic tree astrology sign tend to be keen-minded visionaries, with creative thoughts and high ideals. They tend to be aloof and often feel like other people don’t understand them. However, the Rowan signs are full of energy and devotion and are passionate when it comes to persuasion. The Rowan from the Celtic tree horoscope is compatible with the Ivy and Hawthorn signs.

The rowan tree is known for balance, clarity, vision, protection, divination, and transformation. For those who believe that the trees speak to us when we listen with complete silence, the rowan tree whispers encouragement to look deeper, look beyond the focus of your worldly eyesight to go beyond the physical world and engage with worlds beyond that which we are comfortable with.

Another amazing lesson to be found in the rowan tree comes from observing where they grow and how determined they are to survive, even at times sprouting up within other trees. Some see this as an analogy for us to find connections in unexpected places.

Rowan Magick and Lore

The beautiful rowan is one of our most beautiful and colorful trees – with frothy white blossoms in spring, delicate feathered leaves, and colorful red autumn berries. It’s also traditionally considered as one of most magical trees!

The Druids believed the rowan tree contained a spirit that had secret knowledge of immortality and personal freedom. In Norse mythical tales, it’s said that the rowan saved the life of the god Thor as he was being swept away in the river Vimur – he caught hold of a rowan tree on the bank and pulled himself to safety.

In ancient Celtic mythology, rowan was considered as the mythical ‘tree of life’ – the tree of life bears life-giving fruit each month and at the quarter of the year. The magical berries of the tree could sustain, heal, and prolong life.

Icelandic myth gives the rowan tree a connection with light – there, the rowan is a tree of the winter solstice. The frost glistening on midwinter rowan trees in moonlight fills these magical trees with tiny stars and links to ancient traditions of magical ‘moon trees’ decorated with lights (stars). The star-lights in the rowan bring the light energy of the spirit of the returning year in that important solstice moment of darkness as the year turns from darkening to lightening.

The traditions tell of a special star glowing atop the rowan tree – an ancient rite that’s surely influences our modern tradition for topping our own winter solstice trees (Christmas trees) with a star.

A Rowan Witch Cross

This protection charm represents the waxing energies of the Sun and can be hung in the home to attract good luck.

Collect together two straight sticks of rowan wood. Remember to leave an offering of thanks on a breach, such as a strand of hair, or thread or ribbon.

Hold the sticks in a cross and say,

“Spirits of this wood,
I bring you together for the good of all.”

Now bind the sticks into an equal-armed cross and secure them with red thread. As you do this visualize a powerful white light.

Hold the charm up to the Sun and say:

“Behold the Wheel of Brighid,
Blessed be.”

Sources:

St. Basil’s Day, January 1st, commemorates the day in which (it’s believed) Basil of Caesarea died. The Festival of Saint Basil is the Greek New Year.

In Greek tradition, Basil brings gifts to children every January 1. Children leave their shoes by the fireplace in hopes that St. Basil will fill them with gifts. A large feast is prepared, the larger the luckier the year will be. Pork is usually the main dish.  It is customary on his feast day to visit the homes of friends and relatives, to sing New Year’s carols, and to set an extra place at the table for Saint Basil.

Traditionally Vasilopita or Vaselopita, a special bread or cake, is baked on St. Basil’s Day Eve, and served at midnight. The cake is handed out in a particular order. The first piece is for the remembrance of St. Basil and the second is for the household. Those pieces are taken to the church to be blessed, then given to the poor. The rest of the slices are distributed from the eldest member of the household to the youngest.

A coin or trinket is hidden inside the cake, and the person who gets the piece with the hidden treasure will have luck in the coming year.

Vasilopita | St. Basil’s Bread

Make sure everyone knows a quarter is hidden in the cake so they search for it and do not choke on it.

  • 1 cup butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • a clean quarter

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously grease a 10-inch round cake pan. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until mealy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, baking soda, milk, lemon juice, and zests. Mix into the batter, then pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts and sugar. Bake 40-45 minutes. Gently push a quarter into the cake. Cool 10 minutes. Invert cake onto platter. Serve warm.

A Feast Day Prayer to Saint Basil

Saint Basil, O great follower of God, help all as well as me. Defender of orthodoxy, defend us too. Great follower of God, pray to him for all your people, as well as for unworthy me. Strong knight and leader of Ostrog, save us from the seen and unseen. Raised by Serbian soil to be the light in front of God, be our light and light up our road, and make the darkness disappear.

With prayer and tears you have warmed the cold cliffs of Ostrog, please warm our hearts with God’s spirit, so we can be saved. From all corners of the world to your grave come the weak and the ill, and you helped them, got rid of their demons as well as the devil, and healed their souls and bodies.

Please continue to help, the baptized and the nonbaptized, everybody and me as well. You brought peace to fighting brothers, please continue to bring peace, help the divided, make the sad happy, calm the stubborn, heal the sick. Saint Basil, O miracle worker, father of our spirit, listen and hear your children’s spirits in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

About Saint Basil

Basil, being born into a wealthy family, gave away all his possessions to the poor, the underprivileged, those in need, and children. For Greeks and others in the Orthodox tradition, Basil is the saint associated with Santa Claus as opposed to the western tradition of St Nicholas

St. Basil, also called Saint Basil the Great, is one of the most distinguished Doctors of the Church and a forefather of the Greek Orthodox Church. St. Basil was born in the year 329 or 330 and died in the year 379.  He is the Patron of Russia, Cappadocia, hospital administrators, reformers, monks, education, exorcism, and liturgists.

Basil’s life changed radically after he encountered Eustathius of Sebaste, a charismatic bishop and ascetic. Abandoning his legal and teaching career, Basil devoted his life to God. In a letter he described his spiritual awakening:

I had wasted much time on follies and spent nearly all of my youth in vain labors, and devotion to the teachings of a wisdom that God had made foolish. Suddenly, I awoke as out of a deep sleep. I beheld the wonderful light of the Gospel truth, and I recognized the nothingness of the wisdom of the princes of this world. 

Hot-blooded and somewhat imperious, Basil was also generous and sympathetic. He personally organized a soup kitchen and distributed food to the poor during a famine following a drought. He gave away his personal family inheritance to benefit the poor of his diocese.

His letters show that he actively worked to reform thieves and prostitutes. They also show him encouraging his clergy not to be tempted by wealth or the comparatively easy life of a priest, and that he personally took care in selecting worthy candidates for holy orders. He also had the courage to criticize public officials who failed in their duty of administering justice. At the same time, he preached every morning and evening in his own church to large congregations.

In addition to all the above, he built a large complex just outside Caesarea, called the Basiliad,  which included a poorhouse, hospice, and hospital, and was compared by Gregory of Nazianzus to the wonders of the world.

His three hundred letters reveal a rich and observant nature, which, despite the troubles of ill-health and ecclesiastical unrest, remained optimistic, tender and even playful. His principal efforts as a reformer were directed towards the improvement of the liturgy, and the reformation of the monastic institutions of the East.

There are numerous relics of Basil throughout the world. One of the most important is his head, which is preserved to this day at the monastery of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos in Greece. The mythical sword Durandal is said to contain some of Basil’s blood.

Some Great St Basil Quotes

I really love some of these quotes. They are surprisingly applicable to modern life. Enjoy!

Alternative St Basil Feast Days

According to some sources, Basil died on January 1, and the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates his feast day together with that of the Feast of the Circumcision on that day. This was also the day on which the General Roman Calendar celebrated it at first; but in the 13th-century it was moved to June 14, a date believed to be that of his ordination as bishop, and it remained on that date until the 1969 revision of the calendar, which moved it to January 2 (rather than January 1) because the latter date is occupied by the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

On January 2 Saint Basil is celebrated together with Saint Gregory Nazianzen. Some traditionalist Catholics continue to observe pre-1970 calendars.

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod commemorates Basil, along with Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa on January 10.

The Church of England celebrates Saint Basil’s feast on January 2, but the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada celebrate it on June 14.

In the Byzantine Rite, January 30 is the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs, in honor of Saint Basil, Saint Gregory the Theologian and Saint John Chrysostom.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria celebrates the feast day of Saint Basil on the 6th of Tobi (6th of Terr on the Ethiopian calendar of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church). At present, this corresponds to January 14, January 15 during leap year.

Sources:

There is a lot to celebrate in January. This is a list of pretty much everything that goes on during this first month of the year. Many of these dates change from year to year. The days that change are marked with this » symbol.

Astronomical Events

Astrological Events

Depending on which astrological system you adhere to, these are the signs that show up in January of 2021. Be aware that some of these dates will vary from year to year. Unlike the Sun signs which might just shift by 1 or 2 days, the dates of the various Moon signs will vary widely from year to year. The same holds true for the Chinese Zodiac. The Celtic Tree Signs are based on an arbitrary system and stay the same from year to year.

Western Astrology

The January Sun begins in Capricorn and finishes up in Aquarius:

The January 2021 Moon cycles through the signs as follows. You will notice that the Moon might begin the day in one sign and by the end of the day may have moved into another sign, so timing matters if you are wanting to be precise:

The Celtic Tree Signs in January:
The Alternative Celtic Zodiac is as follows:
  • Apple: Dec 22 – Jan 1
  • Fir: Jan 2 – Jan 11
  • Elm: Jan 12 – Jan 22
  • Cypress: Jan 23 – Jan 31
The Chinese Calendar and Zodiac

According to the Chinese Zodiac we are currently in the Year of the Rat. Each Moon is also assigned a specific animal. Here’s what shows up in January 2021.

  • Rat: Dec 7 – Jan 4 (Stem Branch Calendar)
  • Rat: Dec 15 – Jan 12  (Lunar Calendar – 11th Lunar Month)
  • Cow: Jan 5 – Feb  2 (Stem Branch Calendar)
  • Cow: Jan 13 – Feb 12 (Lunar Calendar – 12th Lunar Month)

Note: The traditional Chinese Astrology birth chart is built by the Chinese Stem Branch Calendar, not the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which I think is really confusing.  Because of a difference in time zones, the lunar months will have different pattern between China and the USA.

Lucky and Unlucky Days

You might want to plan moving, traveling, major purchases, court dates, and weddings around these dates, avoiding the unlucky days and utilizing the lucky ones. Interestingly, the 1st and the 2nd are both lucky and unlucky.

  • These are the lucky days in January:
    1, 2, 15, 26, 27 and 28.
  • These are the unlucky days in January:
    1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20 and 21.

Fatal Days

Of this first month the opening day
And seventh, like a sword will slay.

January Lore and General Info:

Holidays and Holy Days

Many of the holidays begin on the eve of the night before and end on the eve of the day of. It’s also important to remember that the dates of archaic festivals and feast days may vary widely depending on the source.

January 1

  • 1: New Year’s Day
  • 1: Shichi Fukujin – Seven Deities of Luck Celebration
  • 1: Gantan-sai – Shinto New Year Holy Day, see also Shogatsu
  • 1: Ethics Day – Day to commit to cultivating personal honor.
  • 1: Taos Pueblo Turtle Dance
  • 1: Apple Gifting Day
  • 1: Daisy Day
  • 1 thru 3: Kalends of January
  • 1 thru 4: Tewa Turtle Dance – celebrating life and the first Creation, when Sky Father embraced Earth Mother and all life was conceived.
  • 1 thru 6: Shogatsu/Shinto New Year’s Festival – The Kami (Nature Spirits) of the four directions are honored, and prayers for happiness, good health, and prosperity are made.

January 2

January 3

  • 3: Festival of Pax – alternative date Jan 30
  • 3: Snow Day

January 4

January 5

January 6

January 7

  • 7: Russian Christmas
  • 7: Nativity of Christ
  • 7: Genna – Ethiopian Christmas
  • 7: Koshogatsu – Shinto rite honoring Goddess Izanami, partner of God Izanagi.
  • 7: Feast of Sekhmet – Egyptian New Year’s Day (alternative date Aug 7)

January 8

January 9

January 10

  • 10: Geraint’s Day (Welsh)

January 11

January 12

January 13

  • 13 thru 25: Mid Winter Blot (Midvetr, Midvetrarblot, Jordblot, Thorrablot, Freyrblot) – Old Norse Mid Winter Feast.

January 14

January 15

January 16

January 17

January 19

January 20

  • 20: World Religions Day
  • 20 » Severe Cold begins (Chinese Farmer’s Calendar)
  • 20 » Bodhi Day

January 21

  • 21 thru 23: Mahayana New Year

January 22

January 24

January 25

January 27

  • 27 thru 28 » Tu B’shvat – New Year for Trees
  • 27 thru Feb 3: Powamu Festival (Hopi) – dates vary, an 8 day festival held around the end of January or beginning of February

January 28

January 29

  • 29: Gamelion Noumenia – Old Greek festival honoring all the Gods and Goddesses.
  • 29: Red Carnation Day

January 30

  • 30: Up Helly Aa – Scottish Viking celebration
  • 30 » Saraswati Day (Bali), in honor of Batari Dewi Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. No reading or writing is allowed on this day, books are taken to the goddess to be blessed.
  • 30 thru 31: Feast of the Charities – dates vary widely also listed as  Jan 17 – 18, Apr 18 – 19, May 26, Jul 9 – 10, or Oct 13.
  • 30 thru Feb. 2: Februalia

January 31

  • 31: Disfest/Disablot
  • 31 » Banyu Pinaruh – Balinese go, at dawn, to beaches, rivers or other water sources, to pray for wisdom and to purify themselves.
  • 31 thru Feb 3: Old European Lunar New Year – Celebration of the Triple Goddess (Goddess of the Moon and the Seasons) being transformed from the Crone into the Virgin; celebrated with ritual bathing of divine images.
  • 31 thru Feb 8: Navajo Sing – Festival in preparation for the coming agricultural season; celebrated with prayer, chanting, dancing, and healing.

 

Saint Days

There is a surprising amount of magick associated with Saint days This is a very short list of the Saint days in January, there are many many more. As time goes by I may end up listing them all, but for now, this is what I have.

Recipes For January

Many seasonal recipes, including recipes for new and full moon ceremonies, ancient Greek and Roman holidays, Asian festivals and etc can be found here: Seasonal Recipes.

Notes:

Any January lore, almanac, astrological, and celebration dates that have been shared after this post was published can be found by searching the January posts to see what’s new.

A lot of work went into this post. It was compiled from various sources by Shirley Twofeathers for The Pagan Calendar, you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

If an image has posted without permission please leave a comment and I will happily remove it, replace it, give credit, link love ~ whatever you prefer.

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