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January 2023 Themes, Thoughts & Reflections

Written by Marysia Miernowska
Author, Herbalist, Teacher & Director of the School of the Sacred Wild.

January 2023 Themes, Thoughts & Reflections
Full Moon

Full Moon in Cancer

Jan. 6th

New Moon

New Moon in Aquarius

Jan. 21st

Now in January, we find ourselves in the newborn energy of a new year. The light is returning, growing each day, though still tender and embraced by the quiet depth of Winter’s offerings.

Do not rush into the New Year, do not push past what the Sun can hold. Go deeper still, open yourself to the dreaming Earth.

Shhh… Nature does not rush.

The deeper your roots go into the dark, the stronger your vast branches will commune with the Heavens above.

Cyclical Insights

We have moved through the dark night’s portal of the Winter Solstice – Nature’s New Year.

Our human nature bends us towards practices that stoke the inner flame during the darkest month of the year.

Be it coming together with others for feasts and ritual, or strengthening our inner fire through solitary practices like physical exercise, an ancient part of us knows that we must each keep the flame of hope and light alive within us, our homes, and in our lives.

Take this last month of Winter to go deeper into rest, self care, dreams, meditations, journaling and listening to your heart and soul.

Soon the Earth will awaken, expanding you into the outer world once more. Don’t rush the process with New Year goals and visions from your mind from a place of what should be. Get quiet, move intuitively, dream with the Earth and go deeper still. The New Year will speak to you in the quiet places you tend within.

“Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots” — Rumi

What would you call this Moon based
on where you live and what you are noticing?

Themes of This Moon

Atmosphere: The darkest night of the year is behind us. The Sun begins to rise earlier and set later. The feeling can be subtle – the Sun is but a tender newborn, slowly growing. Treat yourself and the spirit of the flame in your life with the same tenderness, love and reverence you’d offer a holy child. Make no assumptions. Keep your heart soft and open. Feed the fire with care towards yourself, others and the Earth.

Movement: A Vinyasa Flow with Sun Salutations and a Shivasana offer a perfect balancing to the Earth, Water, Air and Fire elements.
Water & Earth: We deepen our ability to experience stillness and relaxation, release inflammation, detox by moving our lymph and making our joints more supple to cultivate flexibility for what is to come.
Fire: A warming, physical practice is needed to stoke our inner fire, maintain joy, sustain optimism, keep our digestive system optimal and circulation moving.
Air: Our nervous system finds greater peace and ability to release unconscious reactions, and addictive patterns of self sabotage. Breath opens, the inner peace within brings us closer to Spirit.

Butterfly Blue Pea illustration Herb: Butterfly Blue Pea, A medicinal and edible flowering vine native to Asia, revered as a holy flower and a beloved nourishing, healing herb. The dreamy, otherworldly blue flowers make an indigo colored infusion that nourishes skin, promotes hair growth, protects cells and DNA, fortifies the immune system, soothes digestion, opens the heart and the sacral chakra, inspires creativity, sensuality, dreams, visions, and is healing to the nervous system, third eye chakra and the center of communication – our throat chakra.

Food Medicine: Algae & Broths Focus on deeply nourishing hydration and providing minerals to your body in January. From these deep sources of Earth and Water, the new flowering you will bloom with great vigor and ease as Nature reawakens. Kombu and other sustainably sourced organic algae can be simmered with shitake mushrooms to make a nourishing broth. Sip it throughout the day, or use it as a base for a soup.

Flower: Egyptian Blue Lotus is revered as the flower of creation, a ceremonial communion, supreme tonic, euphoric, aphrodisiac, symbol of death and rebirth, Egyptian Blue Lotus illustration and the sacred portal through which the Sun God was born, according to the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Legend says that before life existed on the planet as we know it, the world was made of dark, primordial waters. The Blue Lotus emerged, opening and creating light, life and the Sun God. To this day, from the muck, the lotus is born, opening each day with the rising Sun, illuminating the beauty and magick of creation.

Tree: Birch is a sacred tree, symbolizing rebirth, new beginnings, hope, protection, resiliency, growth in adverse conditions, good luck and healing in various cultures. It has been used for food, medicine, paper, canoe and water proof shelter, as well as protection, healing, and hope.

Birch tree illustration

Rituals & Practices: Self Care for the Body & Soul.

While our modern and new age culture pushes “manifesting” and goal setting at the start of the New Year, the natural energies of the Earth remind us that in January we are not yet ripe for such forceful expansion. Rather, it is wise to deepen in self nourishment, trust, and relationship to our intuition, feelings and the nonlinear. Cultivate a deeply nourished body and environment that feels safe, allowing the deepest voice of your soul to trust that it can speak to you, showing you glimpses of your Springtime bloom to come.

Herbal Sauna: In the coldness of winter, saunas and hot baths support circulation, help detox, move lymph and warm us to our core. If you have access to a dry sauna, consider bringing in aromatic branches and herbs such as eucalyptus, pine, birch, the evergreens, mugwort and rosemary.

Herbal Bath: Boil branches in a big pot with a lid on so the steam does not evaporate, making a strong tea of aromatic clippings. Add to a hot bathtub or use the plant material to massage your skin, gently exfoliating and connecting with the intimacy of the plant body’s touch.

Dry Brushing: Another simple daily practice is dry brushing your body each morning with a natural, bristle brush. Stroke gently yet vigorously from your feet and hands towards your heart, focusing on the lymph, from the wrist along the inside of the arms towards the breast, and along the inside of the legs. An easy way to promote detox, increase circulation, firm up the skin and wake up the body.

Body Oiling: Ayurveda is a many thousand year old medicine tradition from India that recommends oiling the body with sesame oil before taking a shower. As part of your new morning routine after dry brushing, warm some sesame oil in your hands and massage your body from the extremities towards your heart and core. Lovingly massage yourself, with intention. Spend a little extra time on each joint, making circles 3 times in each direction. This self care practice is anti-inflammatory, great for joint health and longevity.

Light therapy: Connect to light as medicine and magick this month. Minimize blue light from electronics – it disrupts melatonin and sleep hormones, leading to insomnia, anxiety or shallow sleep. Commit to connecting to natural light each day – you will be amazed by the spiritual gifts you receive if you spend a few minutes watching the Sunrise and Sunset each day. Speak to the Sun as you feel the light in your body and speak your prayers for the light to grow within us all.

Sun illustration


In the nonlinear portal of dreaming, rituals of divination, journaling, free writing and intuitive art making all allow deep wisdom to come from the unconscious, to be witnessed by our growing awareness and the light.

Tree illustration

• Use an oracle deck of your choosing.

• Calm your body, heart and mind by taking deep breaths, stretching, lighting a candle and creating a ritual space for your divination.

• Shuffle the cards, moving your energy into the deck, asking the deck to help you see what will support your growth and blossoming this year.

• Here is a suggested spread. Draw a card for each space, asking the deck to reveal the answer to each question.

Oracle deck illustration