Daily Archives: February 18, 2021
In ancient Europe, the winter’s ice began to thaw during the Celtic Month of Ash Moon. People ventured out of their homes and villages for the first time since the darkening days of late autumn. It is perhaps for this reason that this month is linked with journeys of all kinds. Energy directed now should focus on transformation, moving you into a new space either physically or spiritually.
The month of the Ash Moon is a good time to start planning your summer holiday and to acclimatize your body to spending time outside. Cast energy forward that takes your inner energies on an excursion by harnessing natural forces, such as floating wishes downstream in a paper boat, or blessing a feather and letting it fly on the wind. Valentine’s Day also occurs near the time of the Ash Moon, so cast love energy that focuses on sharing your journey in the year ahead with someone special.
- Dates: February 18 – March 17
- Irish/Gaelic name: Nuin, Nion
- Themes: Balance, Endurance, Strength, Protection.
- Language of Flowers: Grandeur
- Qualities: Balance, Stability, Strength, Protection, Connection, Vitality, Fertility, Justice, Wisdom, Connection
- Associated With: Prophetic Dreams and Spiritual Journeys.
Ash is one of our mightiest trees. A huge physical specimen when mature, and also a tree with some of the most impressive myth, meaning and folklore around it.
In ancient Europe, Ash trees were enormous, towering high above the landscape with a thick trunk and deep roots. The Celts interpreted three distinct things from this tree, expansion, growth, and higher perspective. The incredibly complex root system also symbolized remaining grounded despite how much growth was taking place in one’s life.
This belief was perfectly aligned with the esoteric message of the ash. The Druids and the Norse peoples believed all the realms were connected via branches of a giant mystical ash tree known as Yggdrasil.
This World Tree, Yggdrassil, was an almighty ash tree that joined together the heavenly realms in its branches, the earthly realms in its trunk, and the realms of the underworld through its roots.
The spear of Odin was made from the branch of this tree, which is also known by the Celtic name Nion, pronounced knee-un. One of three trees sacred to the Druids (Ash, Oak and Thorn), the month of the Ash tree is a good month to do magic that focuses on the inner self and spells that focus on spiritual journeys, and prophetic dreams.
The wood of the ash tree was used extensively in ritual practices as it burned with an intense heat, even when green. The ash was often the Yule log – feted and decorated as it was brought into the home, farmstead, or inn, fed mead or wine and then burnt on the hearth with the charred remains kept as kindling for next year’s Yule log. The ashes of the Yule log were often used to protect the home from lightning.
The most productive magickal tools are made from the branches of the Ash tree. Ash has also historically been used to make staffs or staves. An early Iron Age find on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales was a staff of ash with a ribbon of copper spiraling around it, thought to be a druid’s staff. It’s also the wood traditionally used for witches’ broomstick handles (birch for the brush part).
Ash is very much associated with rain and water, especially with thunderstorms and their associated downpours. Thor, the god of thunder had a spear of ash. It’s thought that the tall height of the ash tree may attract lightning.
A country rhyme tells us:
“Avoid an ash,
for it courts a flash”
While its association with wet weather is recognized in the old weather lore:
“Ash before the oak,
We shall surely get a soak,
Oak before the ash,
We shall only get a splash”
The Greek god of the sea and storms, Poseidon, was also associated with the ash tree. The Norns watered and tended to the tree and covered its bark with clay to protect it. They also gave the (burnt) fruit of the tree to women in childbirth and so it is associated with childbirth as well.
The ash tree is about balance and stability. Its roots grow to the same size as its branches which means the tree is very stable and grounded with a good inner balance. As the World Tree, it provides balance between the earthly realm, the heavens, and the underworld.
Ash provides strength, endurance, and protects what we hold dear. It is justice, protection, and healing. It is life-giving rain and fertility in spring.
Ash the Enchanter
Free thinkers are born under the Ash Celtic tree astrology sign. They possess vivid imagination, intuition and their second nature is to be artists. They can see the world crystal clear, but have the tendency to be moody and withdrawn at times. Don’t think that they have some sort of a bipolar disorder. It’s all due to the fact that their inner world is constantly moving and changing.
These enchanters from the Ash sign are drawn towards art, writing, spiritual matters, and even science. Good partners for this Celtic tree astrology sign are the Willow and Reed signs.
Practicing this technique during the Ash Moon will free your mind from stress and attract solutions to your problems. You will need a smudge stick, a bunch of herbs – usually white sage – that is used to ‘smudge’ or cleanse an area with smoke.
Light a smudge stick, then take time to relax and breathe deeply. Direct the smoke around your body, taking time to cleanse your aura, and say,
“Spirit I walk this journey and invite you to join me.
May each step be sacred.”
Set out on a walk that takes you through nature. Everything on your journey has a message for you, so relax and enjoy it.
On your return write down any animals you encountered and unusual sights or flashes of inspiration you received.
Ekādaśī Tithi, the eleventh lunar day (Tithi) between the New Moon and Full Moon is an important day in Hinduism and Vaishnavism tradition. Ekadashi, also spelled as Ekadasi, is a day of self purification, redemption and spiritual progress. It is also known as Hari Vasara because it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is a day of fasting and prayers for all Hindus.
Our current Calendar has the dates of these days listed for every month. It can be found here.
Those who fast on this day are considered to get rid of malefic planetary influences, experience happiness, and gain the right peace of mind to think of Ishvara and attain moksha. It is a day of Vishtikarana, a day of malefic influences. Vishtikarana coincides with the second half of Ekādaśī Tithi and is avoided for all functions associated with worldly prosperity.
Ekadasi occurs twice in a Lunar month, in the bright fortnight and the dark fortnight. It is recommended to do a strict fast which means not to eat and drink at all because food is filled with our sins and bad karma. On this day, taking food increases our bad fortune. but if we fast this day we “burn” bad karma and and increase good fortune.
Fasting gives the body a chance to give rest to the digest system, instead of regular heavy meals three times a day, more fruits and light food is consumed, by doing so person goes for more of a spiritual life. It also teaches better control over body and mind. One of the biggest gains is staying healthy.
It is also important to give the physiological system some rest once a while. It may be overworked due to overeating or indiscrimination in diet. These irregularities get rectified in one day. Thus the observance of Ekadasi has many advantages — physical, astral, spiritual — and because this day has connection with the relation of the mind and body together with the moon, it helps improve meditation and contemplation.
The reason is because the planet itself is in a certain state on that day, so if we keep our body light and available, our awareness will turn inward. The possibility of opening the door within is more on that day. If you have a full stomach, and you are unaware and dull, you will not notice it. So to stay alert and also to purify the body, you go without food on that day – you ate dinner the previous day and the next thing you eat is dinner on Ekadashi.
Hinduism puts forth the idea that spiritual ascesis during Ekadashi helps a person to “jump out” of life and death cycle. Ayurveda recommends fasting to improve one’s health. Follow your personal features:
- If you have “dosha kapha” – keep dry fasting.
- If you have “Vata” then drink lemon water.
- If you have “Pita” drink milk or juice (use 40% of milk and 60% of water, pour some sugar)
Depending on your state of health, work load, and other factors you can choose your personal diet taking into account the recommended food for the day.
If you are unable to go without food – because your activity levels are such and you do not have the sadhana to support you – you can go on phalahara or fruit diet, which is light on the stomach so that your inner doors will open. Forceful denial of food is not the point. The point is to make everything into a conscious process. We do not want to compulsively eat like this, we choose.
How to abide by Ekadashi
In the Ekadashi morning you should take a shower, calm down and clear your mind and body. It is important to understand that fasting is not just rejection of food or any other stuff. If you give vent to anger or moral deficiency – you are not actually keeping a fast, you are just not eating. Avoid daytime sleep, oil massage and shaving.
If you are not fasting eat no more than one time per day (after midday) during Ekadashi.
If you happen to miss the Ekadashi – you can do the fast it the next day (Dvadashi) and stop fasting on the 3rd day (Triodashi). If the Ekadashi coincides with dashas (the 10th lunar days) there’s no need to fast, buf if it coincides with the Dvadasha (12th Lunar day) it calls “pure Ekadashi” (Mahadvadashi) and it can be kept strictly.
Stop fasting the next morning 2-3 hours after the sunrise. The first meal should consist of fresh fruits or juices. Be careful with your ration. Your stomach is not working during fasting so do not overload it with heavy food when your fast is over.
It is recommended to prepare yourself for the first time fasting during the Ekadashi. Calm your mind and body. Do not overeat the day before fasting, do not take animal food. Vegetables, fruits, porridge are advisable. You can perform cleaning procedures (clyster, etc.). When you stop fasting drink juices, eat vegetables, fruits, cereals, etc. but not too much.
The Mantra For Ekadashi
The Vishnu mantra chanted on this day is:
“Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”
Hare Krishna maha-mantra to chant 108 times:
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
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