This is a small, simple ritual we do in my family to honor and acknowledge the full moon. You will need a sheet of paper, a pencil, a handful of your favorite fresh or dried herbs, and a small fire (optional). | On the paper have each person write one thing from the last lunar cycle for which they are thankful or that they wish to change in the coming month. Don't worry if you can't think of any major events. Life is full of small wonders! Place the herbs on top of the writing and carefully fold the paper around them. Take a moment to appreciate the moon together in silence. Let the herbs absorb the power of the words written on the paper. Then have everyone hold a corner of the package and throw it into the fire as one. | If you do not have access to a fire, you can dump the herbs out of the paper and into a shallow hole in the earth and then recycle the paper.
We can all use a bit of extra prosperity from time to time. Here is a lovely little spell to promote that prosperous flow in our lives. Thursday's planetary ruler is Jupiter, and one of my favorite prosperity herbs, cinquefoil (aka five-finger grass), corresponds with Jupiter. Anoint a small green chime candle with olive oil and roll it in a very small amount of cinquefoil. Place in a holder on top of a heatproof dish or inside a cauldron. Sprinkle more cinquefoil around the candleholder. Light the candle and recite the following while visualizing a growing prosperous energy: | "Flaming candle, burning bright, | Five-finger grass reaching into the ethers with might, | Grasping prosperity and maintaining flow, | May it continue to grow and grow, | May it be steady in its flow, | For the best, may it be so!" | Let the candle burn down safely.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, Tara is a female incarnation of Buddha and is known as the mother of liberation. Meditating on Tara enables practitioners to develop and understand compassion and emptiness. | Years ago, on April 17, I began labor, and my daughter Terra was born two days later. Parenting is a transcendental path toward compassion and emptiness. I understand the need to protect and nurture my child while simultaneously encouraging her to go farther and longer away, developing independence. | Today, bring to mind one of your babies: a child, a pet, a garden, an artistic creation, or even a car- we baby so much in life. Hold your hands over your heart and draw your baby to mind. | Chant: | "Bless you for teaching me compassion. | Thank you for teaching me emptiness. | May Tara Buddha walk with | you in liberation as you venture | independently into the world, protected | from fear, danger, and illness, with | increased longevity and prosperity."
Many spring herbs are natural detoxifiers, a gift from Mother Nature to help us clear away the sludge of a winter often spent eating fatty comfort foods and not getting enough exercise. Dandelions, nettles, and milk thistle all cleanse the liver and the blood, and as a bonus, nettle is good for allergies, especially if started before the worst of the pollen shows up. If you want to add some magical work to your cleansing, dandelions have been used for divination and making wishes, and nettles are good for protection and healing. Pick young dandelion or nettle leaves and put them on your salad or make a healing tea. For an extra boost, bless the herbs before you use them by saying: | "Bless these herbs, gifts of the | spring, that they may cleanse | my body and spirit."
April is an important and busy month in my family, with many births, deaths, and anniversaries. Perhaps there is a month like that in your family. It is a wonder how the planets and the stars, nature, and the universe align and make a particular month so special (or so sad). | We can honor any special/sacred month. Plan celebrations for the living and for those who have passed. You may wish to plan one gathering to celebrate all the birthdays in that month at one time, and during that celebration offer up words for those who have passed. Don't forget to include the god and goddess attached to that month. Say: | "In honor of our family: | To those who have gone before, we ask | that you keep a watchful eye over us. | To those coming in, bring the love | with which you were created."