We are in Sagittarius season. Sagittarius is a fire sign and it marks the start of the alchemical cycle of the zodiac where the elements are taking an “elder” aspect of the element and “becoming” that element - as in Sagittarius has “become” fire, spirit, that thing that creatively moves through all life in an eagerness to explore and become… heart becoming more heart in a deep and creatively explosive way. It is fitting that we have eruptions on Mauna Loa and in Indonesia at this time. Aries, another fire sign, is the youthful, playful experimentation of the embodiment of fire and Leo’ fire is about developing a more masterful way of operating skillfully with the element, but Sagittarius is the wise embodiment of the element that an elder would show. I see sagittarius as the spiritual fire that enlivens us even when we are surrounded by darkness, even when everything else is stripped away. This would have been the time of the year where people huddled around their fires and told stories or the shaman would take mushrooms and journey to inner landscapes and outer realms. Sagittarius has this journeying quality to it. It gives me a sense of spiritual fire as something that is curious and seeks new insight that has meaning and depth - insight that in and of itself contributes something to the world. I recently attended a herbal workshop by Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue where he talked about the “fire in the head” as a way of expressing times where we get profound spiritual insight and sometimes find ourselves experiencing different layers of reality. I mentioned mushrooms, but according to Seán other herbs like yarrow and mugwort (a moon herb) can also bring on these states. I’ve also been shown that this is a time when the solar aspect of reality has descended into the underworld or Otherworld and that with this descent is an enormous fertility/vitality that will re-emerge in the spring. This is the last push of inner activity before a period of lying fallow from the solstice to imbolc, when the next creative cycle activates on a quantum level. It may seem like the natural world sleeps at this time, but there is a lot working behind the scenes.
And then there is the Gemini full moon. Gemini has a similar explorative quality, but it is with the airy mind, not the fiery spirit. As an adolescent element, Gemini brings a playful quality to its explorations - trying out one idea and then disposing it for another or holding paradoxical ideas with ease. What if it is all true? What if none of it is true? Gemini holds these questions with a curious fascination and creativity. Sagittarius, on the other hand, is a little more serious, like life and death, about the Truth (with a capital “T”) it seeks, perhaps because this is a season where death is so close. There is a shared curiosity, but where Gemini is a bit more flippant, Sagittarius brings a gravitas to their explorations. What I have been surprised to learn is that the truest expression of an undistorted Gemini energy plays with these paradoxes from a deep sense of devotion, a heart and mind that is open to the world with a profound desire to touch the ineffable. At the heart of the matter is a dedication to the possibility that existence holds.
For this full moon, you may need to nourish yourself with some deeply embodying activities, because these fire and air energies can be ungrounding. Now is the time to soak in a hot bath or have some nourishing soup. But you can also move with the energies by journaling, dancing, making art that is explorative or meaningful. What piques your curiosity or calls to you for deeper exploration? What thoughts can be tended by the wisdom of your spiritual heart? Enjoy the openness to new mental and spiritual paradigms that this time can bring.
I’ve been thinking about creative life cycles with this full moon. We have just passed the cross quarter Celtic/Pagan holiday of Lughnasadh or Lammas, which celebrates the harvest (especially of wheat). For those of you that remember way back to the cross quarter holiday of Imbolc in February, this was the “quantum activation” of the growth process that has become the harvest that we now pull in from the proverbial fields of our lives. And February is Aquarius season, so with this Aquarius full moon we are having a hint of new beginnings even as we harvest the fruits of this abundant season.
I’m reminded of the critical nature of the soil as birthplace of new plant life. There are some gardening techniques that really honor the biodynamic nature of the soil and some that even work to preserve the mycelial network in the soil. To me the microbiome and the mycelial network in soil are very Aquarian. They are like little neural networks of communication about the health and fertility of the soil and are critical for any new growth. Aquarius is an air sign, so not readily associated with earth, but I can see how it holds the communication aspect of air in how these networks of beings hold wisdom about the larger creative process of the larger whole of the land and its fertility.
Be prepared to work on grounding the energy of this air/ether and fire moon/sun combo! The full moon in Aquarius is bringing us the energy of something more than air, it is the energy of ether. Ether is the vibration of electrons flitting in and out of quantum reality. It is the quick exchange of information as knowingness flits between realities. We are living in what is called by some the Aquarian age and this describes the way that we are connected to each other and ideas through the electronics that weave through our lives. Aquarius energy lives at the root chakra and is the place of quantum activation of the new cycle of creation.
We are now seeing the fruits of what was planted during Aquarius season back in February. The sun in Leo brings the harvest of those seeds. Leo offers a maturing sense of fire, this is fire in a more adult form, energy moving to the crown chakra and our sense of spiritual connection or knowing. Leo is a flashy energy that demands attention, but also can be very connective, illuminating the beauty in all that beholds its fire. A mature Leo will have a clear sense of their sovereignty not as rampant individualism, but as in how they relationally interweave with the community around them, supporting all to emerge into their shining best selves.
This sun/moon combo is almost as if just as we start to take in the harvest, we start to glimpse the beginning of the next creative lifecycle. We have to simultaneously tend to the roots as we take in the fruits. Pay attention to what this moon is telling you about where your energies might turn to especially in 2023.
So this is a great time to reflect on what has been growing or fruiting in you. What are you harvesting in your life? What passions are burning in you? And what whispers on the wind are you hearing for your mid-range creative endeavors? And remember to bring these reflections into the body, perhaps using breath to move ideas and impressions down into your belly or doing this reflection while walking or hiking. Whatever you can do to remain earth-bound will be helpful for this full moon!
I’ve been asked by the nature spirits I work with to start to co-create essences (energetic medicine) for each of the zodiac signs over a year-long process. This month I started this work with Aries, the sign that begins what is traditionally thought of as the new cycle of the yearly circumnavigation around the zodiac. In my work with the essence I am making I have come to know Aries in a different way, in a way that brings what we traditionally think of a very independent sign back into relationship, which makes it more reflective of its opposite sign, Libra.
This full moon in Libra reflecting an Aries sun allows us to explore these paradigms of individuation and interconnection in a way that can be nourishing to the soul.
One of the lessons of my work with Aries has been that while it holds the energy of hope, courage, perseverance, and individuation, in its highest form it does so with a deep sense of interconnection, of connection to and partnership with the larger forces of creation. In some ways we are all portals for the forces of creation to act through us. In my cosmology there is a primal essence, which I associate with the void, which all emerges from and returns to, that speaks through all of creation. I associate this with the Tao or the Buddhist sense of the emptiness that is the true nature of all things. In this way the Aries sense of becoming “me” is rooted in a profound sense of my connection with the source that is all things. There is no final individuation, only a sense of becoming more of my part of the whole.
I’ve come to understand that when we start to entrain with the forces of nature, like the rotation of the earth around the sun and the seasonal patterns that are expressed through that rotation, then we start to come back into more intimate relationship with the primal force that speaks through all things. It is a way to “remember” in a world of forgetting.
Aries can often play into the “forgetting” with its wild individualism and Libra brings us back into a sense of relationship.
As someone who often feels outside of social norms, Libra can be challenging for me. She asks me to see the primal forces of creation in the people around me. I can see this more readily in the non-human people I interact with, especially in the nature realms, but to see this in humans or in society in general is trickier for me. My feeling is that we have lost our entrainment to these primal forces in a way that has encouraged rampant individualism at the expense of interconnection.
So in some ways this full moon in Libra is an opportunity to come back into alignment in a way that is needed both on an individual and a collective level.
May you feel the primal forces working in you and your life during this particular passage of time and may this ripple out in larger ways in your life and those around you!
Breathe in and out in a relaxed way, noticing the way the in breath and the out breath bring balance to your body and mind. This is the balancing nature of airy Libra. The inner and the outer are intimately in tune with each other through the breath. As you breathe in, you are intimately connected with the air around you and all the plants and animals who have breathed this air. And as you breathe out, you contribute some essence of yourself to this larger web. Take a moment to be in silence with this breath of interconnection.
Now notice the inner fire that enlivens your being. The warmth of your body. This is the fire of Aries. Take a moment to feel the liveliness of your heartbeat. As it beats, inwardly whisper the phrase, “this is my heart”. Bring a sense of gratitude to the expression of heart that you uniquely bring to the world. What does your heart dream? What does your heart love? How does your heart love? And feel into those toughened places in your heart that life may have caused to constrict and bring some compassion to how even these places are a unique expression of the whole that is you.
And also bring attention to how your heart is formed from strands of DNA passed on from generations of lives, made of building blocks that are found in wild nature as well as the stars above. There is a way in which you are uniquely you, but you are also interwoven from all of creation. Take a moment of appreciation for your unique expression of life and its interconnection with the past, present and future of all things.
March's full moon is in Virgo. I honestly have a hard time with Virgo. She triggers the perfectionist in me. As I connect with her more elementally (earth) and also look to her ruling planet (mercury) there is a way in which she takes ideas and visions and translates them into physical reality. She can often be at the cutting edge of making new ideas happen. She can also get caught up in the perfect idea that never quite translates into the perfect reality when brought into the physical plane. She is also known for being the archetype of the healer, which to me is characteristic of her connection between the mind (mercury) and the body (earth). Working with her energy feels like a good opportunity to address the perfectionist in ourselves and become more fluid with our ideas of how things should be versus the reality of how things turn out. It is also an opportunity to tidy up the mind/body connection and perhaps discover some healing in the process.
The Virgo full moon is reflecting the Pisces sun, so we are also in the watery realm of the unconscious. This makes Virgo's healing properties even more potent. Pisces is the place of gestation, the watery womb where the new is formed. Whatever was planted in February during imbolc is starting to form, but it might be on a really unconscious level. For those of you who are tapped into the unconscious, it might feel more conscious or it might be rolling through your dreams, but the idea is that something new is forming, but is not birthed yet. I see Pisces as a creator who is weaving something in the depths of the unconscious from the energy of all possibilities... like there is an infinite palette to choose from and there is a selection of one strand and then another, pure creativity allowing all to be as it is without judgement. With Neptune as its ruler, Pisces has an energy of illusion to its creativity. It is forming what is new through the dreaming of the deepest parts of our being. It is weaving the new form of maya, illusion, that we are dancing with in our yearly creative lifecycle. This is a very different energy than Virgo where it is all about conscious ideas taking final form. Pisces is the unconscious primordial waters where the not-yet manifest is just beginning to form.
There is a way in which with this full moon I want to sink into Pisces' waters and allow the depths to inform the Virgo-ian energies of translating thought into form. I want to dream new realities not based on ideas of perfection, but rooted in the wisdom of my subconscious. And I want to tap into the manifesting powers of Virgo to start to make those dreams real and in alignment with my soul's healing path.
Take a moment to breathe in stillness and come to the center of your being. Just a few breaths, allowing yourself to sink into your body. From this place of centeredness, I invite you to bring forward an idea or two that you might have for the future or how you might like your current life to be. What needs to come into form? What needs some tending or healing to come into right alignment with your ideals? Start to hold these thoughts in your body. Where do you feel them in relationship to your body? Is there something that needs to shift or open to come into alignment with these thoughts? Just take a moment to feel into the body relationship with these thoughts.
This is the energy of Virgo - of mind/body connection… of thoughts and their counterpart in form. Invite in a moment of extra awareness to the earthiness of your body, the element of Virgo. Send out an intention of goodness to your body and to the earth that surrounds us. May our human thoughts be transformed into goodness for our bodies and for the earth.
Now take a minute to connect with your kidneys, feel them in the backside of your body below your ribs. This is the place where the waters of your body get filtered and it is also the connection to the energetic waters of your ancestors. Allow this place to be a connection point to your watery subconscious, maybe expanding your awareness to your back body, the quiet unconscious parts of you. Allow your awareness to sink into your sacral area and the watery creative wisdom held there.
This is the energy of the Pisces sun that is being reflected by the moon. Take a moment to receive any wisdom it might have to offer you. Invite in a moment of extra awareness to the waters of your body. Send out an intention of goodness to your personal waters and to the waters in the world around us. May we listen to the unconscious, emotional, deep places in ourselves as we move through our days.
This month we welcome a fiery full moon in Leo. Moons in fire signs can be a little ungrounding as they are reflecting the sun in an air sign, in this case Aquarius, so bringing this energy into the body is helpful in navigating the essence of this moon. We will definitely do some body tending in this circle!
The moon in Leo brings a maturing sense of fire, this is fire in a more adult form, energy moving to the crown chakra and our sense of spiritual connection or knowing. Leo is a flashy energy that demands attention, but also can be very connective, illuminating the beauty in all that beholds its fire.
The moon reflecting the Aquarius sun is bringing us the energy of something more than air, it is the energy of ether. Ether is the vibration of electrons flitting in and out of quantum reality. It is the quick exchange of information as knowingness flits between realities. We are living in what is called by some the Aquarian age and this describes the way that we are connected to each other and ideas through the electronics that weave through our lives. Aquarius energy lives at the root chakra and is the place of quantum activation of the new cycle of creation. It is like the fertilization of the egg of possibility takes place under this sun and the moon in Leo is reflecting a hint of what the eventual adult form of the offspring will potentially look like.
So this is a great time to plant intentions for what you want to grow in the new year. What are you looking to harvest later in the year? Or simply tune into the silent impressions of what is starting to form beneath the surface of your life, seeing what it needs to nurture its growth.
At this full moon I encourage you to tune into the fire of your metabolic processes and your heart fire as a way to bless this element in you through attunement. Also acknowledge the quantum or ethereal aspect of your being with by paying attention to something that feels like it is coming to you from beyond the veil or in other words from a more collective reality (as opposed to your personal experience) either through dream, intuition, vision or just a “feeling into” your life. A news article, instagram or facebook meme that you are drawn to is also a more modern form of collective information gathering, but one that perhaps offers some playfulness into the mix. The electronic and information sharing aspect of our lives can sometimes feel overwhelming or ungrounding, so this is an opportunity to explore how we relate to this in a healthy way.
Meditation for this full moon:
Breathe into your heart. Let your breath drop into your belly. Allow your body settle, following gravity to the earth. This is your center. Just be here, now, in this moment. Allow everything else drop away and bring all the parts of you to this time and place. This breath.
Let the warmth of your body remind you of the molecular fire that permeates your body. These are your own personal suns, shining on a microscopic level. Allow this to connect you to the Leo moon that now shines in the sky.
Through time and space, we are connected through intention, through thought, through consciousness to each other and the world around us. Take a moment to recognize this connection, both people and non-people. Trees, the rushing water out beyond us. All have a spirit and we are connected in spirit. This is the Aquarian energy of ether, the spiritual weaver of social reality, relatedness in all its forms.
I invite you to stand and with your eyes closed, if that feels right, explore movement of this embodied sense of your inner fire and the interconnection with all of reality around you. How does it feel to weave between your inner sovereignty, your liveliness, and your connection to all things? Allow breath and sound to come in whatever way it wishes. Take a few minutes in silence to explore this experience.
Cancer is being shown to me these days as the ruler of the salty waters. The sea water, but also our blood, sweat, and tears. It also governs the alchemical process of solutio, the dissolving of old patterns through emotions of love, grief, gratitude, etc. Anytime we have strong watery emotions that support a process of change, this is a solutio process. So we will have space to honor this process in our sharing. I invite you to bless something that represents these salty waters, something that can be returned to the earth after your ritual.
The full moon will be reflecting the Capricorn sun, so I also wish to honor the way that Capricorn holds the energy of metal/stone. This element is also our bones and teeth, the hard structures in our body. It governs the alchemical process of mortificacio, the death process. This season marks the beginning of winter with all life coming to its most inert stage. Death holds the key to new life. It is also the season where we feel closest to the sovereignty of the earth as she dances away from the influence of the sun, for without the sun the earth is barren death to life as we know it, but yet she is still a fertile host for the powers of the underworld (think stone and lava people). I invite you to bless something to bless that represents metal/stone/bone/teeth that can be returned to the earth after your ritual.
Ritual meditation for Cancer:
Take a few deep breaths and start to tune into the salty waters of your body. Your sweat, your tears, your blood. Really tune into your blood for a moment. Feel the way your blood circulates to every part of your body, bringing oxygen and nourishment and carrying away all that is ready to be eliminated. Connect into the history your blood holds, its link to your ancestors. Really deepen into your sense of connection to your blood and let it draw you deeper and deeper, like drawing you into the dark waters of the ocean. Let this sense merge with the ocean waters, feeling no distinction between the blood in your body and the great deep waters of the ocean. Imagine yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the dark vastness of the ocean, finding that you can easily breathe there no matter how deep you go. Feel the energy of the ocean around you, the movement of the currents. Let that energy penetrate your body and allow it to heal any blocks you might have energetically in your emotions or mind. Allow it to nourish and heal your physical body. Allow the swirl of the water around you, gently bring your system into deeper resonance to the deep waters of the ocean and the primordial life force there. Take some time to be with this, allowing the healing to unfold as it will. Notice how as the waters in your body come back into resonance with the primordial waters of the ocean, you are amplifying the health of the ocean and you are actually healing it as well. Imagine this amplification of healthy waters rippling out around you and reaching the far corners of the ocean. See it being evaporated into the air, raining and snowing down on the earth and flowing healing resonance back out to the ocean, creating a cycling loop of primordial health that supports all life on the planet.
As you start to come back into waking consciousness, think of a word or a phrase to speak to the water you have brought. Dr. Emoto has shown that water holds the resonance of the words spoken to it and so your word will imprint on this water and when you return it to the earth it will be a blessing, rippling out into the environment.
When you have your word or phrase, offer it to the water in gratitude for its support for life on this planet.
My thoughts on the path of deep animist relationship