Shake and Bake 56 – The Celtic New Year Edition

Take it in Stride - the road.

IMG_0310Things to Let Go of… and Things to Create…A plan for writing in the coming year… and much much more.

Hullo Me Hardy HEARTies…

Happy November.  Happy New Moon.  Happy NaNoWriMo.  Happy MoVember.  Happy New Year too.

October was a hard hard month hereabouts.  I shan’t go on about it.  Let us, instead look forward to the new month on this New Moon day.

Each moon has many names.  I haven’t totally settled myself on ONE tradition, choosing instead to see which name seems to match – this place, this year.

The Celts call November’s moon – the Dark Moon as the wheel turns and the nights lengthen.  The Algonquin call her Beaver Moon – which I am guessing may be connected to how busy the beavers are right now preparing their homes for winter.  Or perhaps it has to do with trapping.  Perhaps this is a good time to catch Beaver. I’m not sure and haven’t been able to find any wisdom on this yet.  If anyone knows why the Algonquin call this Beaver Moon – I hope you will let me know.

As I walk through the world this week, I notice the cold.  I notice the dark.  And I did INDEED see a beaver.  I turn my eyes to the sky, to the trees and to the water.   There was a skiff of slush skirting the shore this morning.  The river was shrouded in Mist as she has been every morning for the last few weeks.

This month will bring the ice to the river. So I shall call this moon … Ice Coming In Moon.  That seems to fit best.  I thought of Fog Moon but I have a feeling that once the ice forms, the morning mist will dissipate as well.

Last week held a huge sadness, as you all know.  Our sweet four-legged, Robbie, moved on to chase those chippees out on her own Happy Hunting Ground. May she run strong, and may she visit us from time to time in our dreams.

The week also held Samhain – which I celebrated in my own quiet way, with a review of the last year and a small ritual before the fire in which I turned to each element for wisdom for the coming year.  I had a small feast, sharing an offering with the spirits of my ancestors and the ancestors and all beings of this Place.  I left a candle in the west window to light the way of any night travelers.

I woke in the night to the shape of a man standing near our bed.  He wasn’t scary.  He watched over us for a few minutes and then went his way. He had nothing to say.  I didn’t “recognize” him, so I don’t think it was any of the men I know who have passed this last year. In the morning, I told the Raggedy Man that it might have been his father.  But I was only guessing.

I’ve spent the last month… preparing… to begin a new year.  I decided to follow the Celtic tradition in this and let my New Year begin in the dark time of the year.  It fits in nicely with where I am at with my work.  I continue to let Sanctuary, my Novel in Progress, rest.  I have had a completely shitty month, writing wise, truth be told.  But this new month, this new year, holds promise.

It’s November and – as most of you know – November is National Novel Writing Month.  I used the spur of NaNoWriMo last year to write the history of Asiloverde – the town where Sanctuary takes place.  It was fun and a bit bizarre as I found myself scrambling a bit to hit word count goals.  But it did … help.  I may never use EVERYTHING I wrote that month, but I did incorporate bits of the History into the novel.  And it was good for me to… play around in the world of the book.  To learn more about the place and the ancestors of the characters who populate Izzy’s world.

This month I will play around in an entirely different world.  Well.. mostly.  I think that the world of The Fifth may well come to include Asiloverde.  We shall see.

But the exciting thing is … that I begin a new year and I begin to explore this world on the page and also in my day to day existence.

The world of The Fifth is our world, of course, but it is… well… let us say it is our world on a slant.  I believe there is magic in the world of The Fifth.  I believe there is magic in our world too.

I plan to let my focus drift over the elements – Earth Air Water Fire and Spirit – this year.  I plan to follow the moon more closely.  I plan to pay attention to the natural world around me – to an even greater degree than I have been.  This closeness to nature is one of the joys of living here on the shores of the Kebsquasheshing.  I plan to meditate and thereby increase my overall “mindfulness”.  And… I plan to WRITE.

I think it will be a good year.

I’ve played around with some “writing plans” for the year.

I will use November to explore the world of The Fifth on the page.  I have a few ideas for short stories, and an idea for a longer piece.  I’m not sure yet if the longer piece is a novel in Five parts, or Five separate things.  I’m open to what comes.

In December I am headed off to the Meditation Retreat and then it will be Yule.  I hope to play with Ursula K LeGuin’s book Steering the Craft over the holidays and into January before returning my focus to ReVising Sanctuary.

I will keep you posted on the writing with these Shake n Bakes – which I have decided to keep on posting (for the time being).

That said…. let’s get on with the Shaking and Baking, yes?

The Quick Chicken (The Doings that help me with the Being):

  • Scribble:8/8
  • Walk: 5/8
  • Yoga:4/8
  • Meditation:  7/8


Writing Hours: 2/8 ~ have just re-booted the writing hours and lordy lordy they feel GOOD!

And… in tune with my new focus…

The “hard/gnarble” and the “good/tasty” become….

Things to Let Go of and Things to Create (and Nurture)…

with these first ones growing out of this year’s Samhain Ritual.

The alchemical symbol for EarthNorth~Earth~Touch

An intention to let go of rigidity, to the sense of… knowing the The Right Way to do things, and to stubbornly clinging to some kind of Pre-Determined Path.

An intention to  Send Down Roots and to let them seek nourishment by growing – AS THEY WILL.  They may go deep or they may spread shallow and stay near the surface.  I intend to Trust that they will find the nourishment they need and that they will support me  through the months and years to come.

Strength comes from the root, and from flexibility.

These are the things to be nurtured this year.

The alchemical symbol for AirEast~Air~Scent

An intention to let go of the heavy air, of the fog that clogs my senses.  To let go of the weight of the Should Be Dones.

An intention to fill with Light and Ease and to follow the scent of My Own Truth instead of always seeking seeking … chasing ever after wisdom from the outside world.

The alchemical symbol for FireSouth~Fire~Hearing

An intention to let go of the fiery Rage that I cling to as some sort of twisted Protection from my Fear.  It doesn’t protect me.  I am not in need of protection.

An intention to stand firm in my own strength and if/when Anger is directed at me, to answer back with a different kind of Passion and Heat from within mySelf.  Not an answering Rage, but a burning away of Rage and a spreading of light.

An intention to nurture my own passions, my hungers, my curiosities, my senses and sensuality and to thereby re-stoke the fire of my love of this Life and of Living.

This element tells me, “Listen to the promptings of your desires.  You will have what you Want when you truly know what that is – and when you can Speak it Aloud.  Nurture the Flame.”

The alchemical symbol for WaterWest~Water~Taste

An intention to release the murky brine and poison that I Swallow back.

Water is Life, is Flow, is Nourishment. I intend to slip into the cool…into the warm…into the flow.

This element reminds me that I am a Taurus and as such I am an incredibly Earth bound creature.  I find my grounding there but I tend to hold too tight to the Earth.

I am learning to let the water run over me as well. I begin to make Mud Pies.  I allow myself the knowledge that … I can breathe under water.

I intend to take refreshment.  I intend to begin each day this week with a glass of cool water and to let it nourish me.

4 directions

Above/Below/All Round~The Fifth~Vision

An intention to let all the Teachers go – for a time.  Or at least the Clinging to them.

An intention to Listen to mySelf.  To follow my own Scent and taste my own Truth. To touch the Earth lightly and to embrace the silence and the song. To see the Beauty all round and within.

To Be and to know that this Being is enough, and that I can also reach for more.


Well…. this has been rather … long-winded of me.

Thanks for stopping by.

Let me send you off with a little Van Morrison… with Celtic New Year.

Go easy ~p

PS: For a wonderful reason NOT to dive into NaNoWriMo – go check this out…. He makes some fabulous points.

5 Comments on “Shake and Bake 56 – The Celtic New Year Edition

  1. Awesome Pam! Yes. The CELTIC New Year! Feeling a little multiculturally overwhelmed atm! Lol
    Aware of what so many great people and cultures are doing right now! 🙂
    So, am gonna just enjoy this dark rainy cool late afternoon with my cat Chutzpah purring on my chest, nose pressed, gently, against my cheek.
    Winter Solstice is my New Year.
    This is Rains Have Begun Moon here, a long cool rain that may turn to snow. Gonna continue to patiently go slow. All for now. Much love. Here we go! 🙂 ❤

  2. Happy WRITING Pam. And thanks for all the encouragement. I think coming here and seeing all that the writing life means to you has bolstered me to be brave!

  3. Pingback: Shake and Bake 77 – A Super-sized Beltane Chicken | pambustin

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Because there's never enough time to do it right the first time but there's always enough time to do it over

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Cathy Standiford

Historical fiction, poetry, essays

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