I actually love the cleanness of a cold crisp winter’s day. At least you know what to wear when you get up! Walks at this time of the year can be wonderful and sometimes even magickal so don’t miss the opportunity, if you have time, to take time out and enjoy a walk amongst nature whenever the day is fresh.
The other wonderful thing about this time of year is that the cold crisp nights bring clear dark skies which bring much more fun in star and moon gazing – another thing I just love about winter and I miss in the summer when the Moon hardly seems to rise at times. The Moon is a magickal friend that comes out at night to play and I don’t know how, on a clear night, people don’t spend time outside enjoying the show that the stars and the moon put on for us. You will find me outside for a while on any clear night whether the moon is out or not – the stars are the star on moonless nights and fun can be had by all the family in learning where the planets are and what constellation is where in the sky. The old Celts really understood the sky and I have to say, I use the Moon for a lot of my spells – doing more work in the dark than the light.
However, let us not forget the stars which are tiny diamonds studding the dark blue velvet sky. They twinkle away and their show is often ignored or simply taken for granted, so let us see what we can do to encourage you to spend more winter’s nights stargazing. Oh and another thing, remember that planets don’t twinkle!!
If you live in a city, then you may have to head for the hills to enjoy the stars as the city lights can wipe out the night sky. I am lucky enough to be far enough away from the City to view the stars at their best. However, when I spent a week in Ireland, I had never seen so many stars in the sky – far more than I enjoyed at home but it doesn’t stop me stargazing. Get a map of the stars, wrap up warm and see how many planets and constellations you can spot and then watch over the winter as they travel the sky and even disappear and the Earth revolves. It is amazing how the sky changes once you notice what goes where. Start simply with something like the plough or Orion, and watch how it moves.
One thing everyone watches for is a shooting star. I have only once seen a shooting star and I was on a boat on Loch Ness with my family and friends and only I saw it, even though there were 4 of us looking to see where Mars was when it was doing its red thing. Shooting stars are lucky and a good omen for travellers, lovers and people with ill-health. I took it as a sign of good luck as I was with my partner and took it that our relationship was blessed.
Another thing I do is to wish on my chosen star. Once you have been out at night and got to know the sky a bit, you will notice a star that seems to catch your eye (well, this one always seemed to twinkle at me whenever I went out the back door – in fact, all the other stars disappear into oblivion!). If you do find one that you tend to always notice, it can be your “Star of Power”. Stars are suns in another galaxy and as such, like ours, have much power that can be tapped into. Like the poem says:
“Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, Wish I will, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight”.
I always make a wish on the first star that I see if I am walking outside at dusk. Why not? You can use your Star of power in the same way. Spend some time attuning to its power simply by looking at it for a period of time nightly until you have connected. Then you can ask for its help, whatever is needed, provided the sky is clear. Make this your winter project and see how you can enhance your life with the power of the night sky. Take my advice and let your wishes come true on the stars!!
But what about signs of Summer…
There is a formation of three bright stars which go directly overhead through the summer. Deneb, Vega & Altair are the three brightest stars in separate constellations and pretty much dominate the summer night sky. Top left is Deneb, which is in Cygnus, Vega, to the right of Deneb, is in Lyra and Altair is in Aquila which is south of the other two. Even though they are in separate constellations, they stand out quite significantly, so next time you are outside, look directly up and see if you can locate these bright stars and spot our night sky’s signal of that summer is here (because we could never tell it by the weather!!).