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.
My thoughts on the path of deep animist relationship