Totality and prayer initiate our new lunar year

2024 a year of sacred memory, dreaming dragons, and original prayer

Week 15--in which a new astrological year arrives with a total solar eclipse and a radical new prayer

Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,

In last Sunday’s Notes from the Field, I shared my way of honoring the wisdom and beauty of the arrival of a new astrological year as it unfolds over a three-day period.

The old astrological year ended last Sunday on the first of 3 days of the dark moon.

On Sunday, I sat quietly reviewing all that happened in the astrological year that began last March 21. It was a powerful year that changed me at depth and totally transformed my work. So I had much to celebrate, but at the same time it was a year of great sorrow. Everywhere we look we see the horrors of war and hate, but at the same time, within me and within my work, it was a year of radical new beginnings—inklings of ways I can participate in healing this weaponized wasteland.

The big new beginning for me last year—and it was massive—was the birth of The Witch Sequence.

The A.R.T. of Becoming a Witch: How to Awaken, Remember and Trust Your Body’s Natural Intuitive Senses prayer intensive opened last March 26, just five days into the new astrological year. Within three weeks, that intensive began to reveal that it wasn’t one intensive; it was the first in a series to awaken all  seven of our natural WitchArt gifts. And, if that weren’t surprising enough, the sequence was unfolding on the most ancient of feminine symbols: the 7-circuit labyrinth. The original labyrinth found carved in ancient caves and tombs and sacred sites.

I had a lot to look back at. Slowly and lovingly, I identified many treasures from the year ending that I want to carry into the new astrological year and beyond. A feast of treasures. But I also wanted to identify any stories, sorrows, confusions that I don’t want to hold on to. Those I wrote on rice paper and gently poured into the earth.

Then came Monday, the second day in the three-day dark moon. Monday was the actual day of the New Moon, the moment the moon slipped into Aries to initiate a whole new astrological year. It would have been a holy day no matter what, but it was also a Total Solar Eclipse. And we all felt the magnitude of this birthing whether we were in the dark of totality or not.

Image of the dark background of the sky with the moon passing in front of the sun during a total solar eclipse at totality. The sun's rays are visible behind the moon and the "ring" is visible.

Photo by Justin Dickey on Unsplash

Living in Florida, I was nowhere near totality, but I still experienced it. I joined a large global meditation hosted by a woman in England. I opened her zoom, got comfy in my big reading chair across the room, put a journal on my lap, and watched my screen in silence as NASA displayed city after city after city experiencing totality.

I watched for two hours. And something happened. Something I didn’t expect.

To prepare for this auspicious moment, I had been following several astrologers. In a post just before totality, Lorna Bevan, Hare in the Moon Astrology, wrote:

“Look back to April 2005 to the last Solar eclipse at 19° Aries to track the evolving themes in your own life. This is another every 18.65 years’ opportunity to climb the spiral of your evolution.”

As I watched the moon block the sun in cities across the US from Texas to Illinois to Ohio to New York to Maine, I found myself wondering what I was doing in April 2005. I had just published the 3rd book in my Spiritual Geography series and thanks to those books, I’d been invited to write a weekly column for what was then the largest website on religion and spirituality. I was stepping into a totally new self as a writer.

So, I wondered, what was I birthing 18.6 years before that, and before that, and before that.

I realized that at 76, I am stepping into my final 18.6 year period. The next time Aries steps into 19 degrees, I’ll be getting ready to celebrate my 95th birthday. So as the screen displayed totality after totality, I looked back at all five of the 18.6 year periods of my life hoping to see the “spiral of my evolution.” And I did!

As I watched and wondered, the prayer for my new astrological year began to write itself. I wasn’t expecting that. Usually the prayer for the new astrological year comes on the 3rd day of the dark moon. But I guess it couldn’t wait. And it felt so big. So important. So huge.

Because it is not only the prayer for this astrological year until next Spring, but, I sensed, it may well be my prayer for the fifth and final 18.6 year segment of my life. I read the prayer aloud and it felt good and holy and complete. And powerful. Yee, Goddesses, it felt powerful.

Then, came Tuesday, the third and final day of the dark moon. My sister-witch and Witch Sequence partner, Cathy Stevens Pratt, held a special oracle gathering for the new astrological year. When it was my turn, she held her hand over the massive tarot deck she had constructed just for this occasion with cards from multiple decks including Star and Strength cards, court cards, fire cards, and aces.

Cathy laughed and held the card up to the camera: The Goddess of Fire from Phyllis Curott’s Witch Wisdom deck. I gasped. What are the chances? This was the same card Cathy pulled on the 3rd day of the dark moon of the last lunar cycle of the closing astrological year.

That Goddess of Fire has something she wants me to remember and embody not just this year but for the rest of my life.

Here is my Lunar Vow for this most sacred astrological year, birthing the final period of my life. It has words from my invocation to Jeanne d’Arc, my full body anointing, key words from the Chandra for Aries 20 (see last week’s Notes from the Field), and brings together my three callings as prayer artist, mystic witch, and fire keeper. And it closes with Jeanne’s most famous words. It’s a big prayer. One I now say every day.

Janet's Lunar Vow

April 8, 2023

Our Lady Queen of Magicians,

Give me the courage, grant me the grace
to dare to fully embody my destiny
as a cleansing and purging agent of changes

  • a Prayer Artist who speaks
  • a Mystic Witch who remembers
  • a Fire Keeper who sees

and guide me to leave my precious legacy
of radical prayer, love, reverence, and forgiveness
for Prayer Artists, Mystic Witches, and Fire Keepers to come

je n’ai pas peur
I am not afraid
for this I was born

This prayer does not supplant my previous Lunar Vow for the last astrological year. It completes what is turning out to be a three-part set.

  1. The first lunar vow that I’ve now said for 7 years ago reminds me that I have a responsibility to speak, to be Sophia’s Voice.
  2. The second from 2 years ago reminds me that my holy work is The Witch Sequence in which we remember the witches and heal the wounds that permeate our world
  3. And now my third lunar vow, so fresh and new, reminds me to look deeply into Her sacred fire to see what wants to be seen, what wants to be healed, what wants to be forgiven. So that together we can see a way to create a beautiful future.

I know it sounds like a lot of prayers, but each is a couple sentences. So I did something yesterday that in all these years I’ve never done. I timed how long it takes me to say my whole prayer practice as I sit down to soul write.

Four minutes. Four minutes! Five if I want to savor the words a bit more.

Those four minutes sanctify my deep soul writing pages. They change the vibration in my body and in the room. And they enchant my soul and call me to honor and bless my holy work.

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t write your lunar prayer for the new year this week. There is time enough. There is always time enough for prayer.

But I do hope I have inspired you to enter the silence, pick up a pen, reread the Chandra (see last week), invoke your guides and guardians, and open your heart, asking to be shown your private and personal lunar prayer.

to blessing this new astrological year with prayer 

Janet

website: janetconner.com

facebook: janet conner prayer artist

YouTube: Janet Conner

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