This week of sacred first harvest, let me return to the most simple and vital wisdom I could ever give out on this site. The invitation to set aside the chatter of your head, put down any and all e-devices including tv, and get back to your home.
The constant whir of busyness, of personal and political tumult, of stress and sickness and crisis, is not consistent with the nature of true reality.
It is an indicator of the collective soul sickness of humanity.
Your part in the collective impacts not just you, but the collective. You are made and remade by it, much as you make and remake it.
Your true natural state is one of safety, love, vulnerability, joy, healing, grace and connectivity.
Get back outside where the unfettered rhythm of life is untouched by satellite or cell tower interference.
Let the grandness, the power of the earth and the sun and the moon in the consistency of their infinite dance do what it does. What its bigness is meant to do.
This is the root of real magic.
This is the rising of the ocean’s tide, highest at the gravitational peak of full or new moon. This is the rising of sap in the tree, result of the tension of the elements of the seasons. This is busting seed into both deep down root and breaking ground bud. This is the power of fruit and flower into full bloom.
This too is the source: the reliable recycling of life energy eating itself to birth newness again, again, and again.
Be still, and know this. Patience. Change comes.
This practice is available at any time for any living being to access. There are no secrets, only breaking down or putting down the defenses built up against the patterned chaos of Wild.
It requires you only to re-connect to it. Never underestimate the body’s ability to, in my friend Sepideh’s words, recalibrate, once we’ve gotten our body back onto the earth and away from all the distracting artifice.
My own mental and soul health cannot be separated. Recently, after the loss of my long time wise woman elder, I found myself experiencing professional and personal burn out. I knew that now more than ever it was necessary I heed my own “wisdom”–a word that I use always to mean that which translates from one’s own, personal experiences. 10 years ago I made the commitment to my self that I would travel the road, wherever it took me, to be able ultimately to work for myself, according to my own wisdom, soul, passions, and medicine. That I would blaze my own trail, whatever that took.
I arrived here, back to me, my own hand-built life and dream, over this past year. Who could know that the spiritual mentor, my wise woman Gretchen, whose guidance so surely and regularly led me back to my own while on that path, would depart the earth at the same time as my own arrival into this level of self-autonomy. I had to reach down deeply and trust my own life.
I examined the calendar and chose a week to take off completely. To turn off e-devices and get away from all distractions entirely, to disconnect from the go go go pace of the do do do material world. I chose the time of the month of nature’s elemental reset, the dark moon’s balsamic wane, before the moon remerges as new each month, that I’d make my return. I chose the time of the year when the growing season of summer leans into its own great pause, a great expanse of release and rest, from which the quickening of energy will then surge of itself into first Harvest.
My dark to new moon tide staycation, the dark tide that would birth us into this moon cycle right now, Thursday’s full moon: First Harvest for those in the Northern hemisphere.
My dark moon staycation took what I knew it would, days to simply allow for the stress of my MindBody, my somatic muscle memory juiced and running on amped up nervous system, to dissipate. Then time and more time: it took more days, of moment to moment existing, fire building, cooking fish in the coals, swimming for hours, tent pitching, surfing for hours, laying on the earth in hot drenched sand or beneath trees drowsy with a book over my chest. No agenda, no drive. Just right now with mama nature’s healing rest.
It’s a lot of years I’ve walked this path, and returning to me by returning to her has never led me wrong or let me down. It is always a reset to the imprint of my rhythm, and it is always stunning to me the unexpected doses of harmony and serendipity that occur whenever I do.
It is always a practical miracle how much more I am resourced from within when allow for that reconnection.
Whether or not you nerd out on tracking your own life by the tides of the moon and the seasons of the year as I do, on the real, actual alchemy of it–this medicine can return any of us back to the great majesty of truth in Life:
We are all connected in this sacred web. We create, much as we are created.
The magic of the female body is the rhythmic reliability of this very understanding. The fertility of the full moon is reflected in the peak hormonal time for menstruating women during ovulation each month. At ovulation the psyche is inspired and sparkly. The decline and reflection of the waning moon is aligned with the interior, hormonal alchemy of reflection and release. If we learn to take the time to treat our bodies with reverence, rest and quietude during this time, conscious transformation happens on the psychological, spiritual and physical levels when the period comes.
Learn how to deprogram from the artifice of the material world’s rhythm. The world devalues the feminine orientation of process and change, intuition and emotion. So you must choose to value it in order to find your own rhythm, and to further explore how and in what special, unique ways your own rhythm aligns with nature. This is a gift that will certainly come as result.
To me, it is the gift. The great grace of living. Magic.
Lunar Lammas, celebrated traditionally Aug 2 as Lammas, is reflected the world around in agricultural and indigenous societies that follow the cycles of growth and decline in nature. It is celebrated as a women’s or lunar mystery when the moon grows full while in the sun sign Leo, which this year is this Thursday night, peaking on Friday afternoon.
It comes to us as an imprint of when the late daylight and ample moonlight allowed for the stocking up on the harvest of this season’s fruit, vegetables, and animals.
It is, as all sabbat(h)s or holy days on the earth path, when we too can consciously deepen into a meaningful flow of our own day to day living by being reflective about what we have made of or with our own life.
The energy of a full moon lasts about three days. It holds us still. My sister Chantal, who leads our moon circles, reminded us this week that this week’s full moon is accompanied by a lunar eclipse.
Mama moon, some say, dictates our inner life and systems, what’s under the surface. Eclipse is when her light is blocked by the earth, which some might say dictates growth in the material, concrete world. So count on something deep in the interior life transformed by your own willingness to release or make changes in specific details of your outer life.
Llewellyn’s moon sign datebook, that tells when to plant, fish, and harvest by the moon tides–given by my soul sis Beth–suggests that we lay low this weekend as this eclipse may generate anger: “fury and wrath.”
In my experience, disembodied rage is an entry point to calling the self or soul back to the self, back to the body. The world devalues the individual’s right to his or her own body’s experience. It devalues the emotional truth of this, too. So when overpowering anger happens, this is often the start of a healing experience that can allow for deep-seated core beliefs (what I frequently call shame stories) to bubble to the surface. Be mindful, for both the deep masculine and the deep feminine lay beneath disembodied rage. Fury lingers as a defense to the wound of the body being not allowed to trust itself. Rage is an indicator and fuel for true inner transformation.
What a powerful tide this could be, if the eclipse helps us alchemize the hurts and faulty beliefs underneath our anger!?
The tide of energy is on the side of creation this week! It is on the side, by the weekend, of active release.
Remember, when we release something it is often helpful to be mindful of what we wish to grow in its place. You get to choose that, if you’re willing to keep returning back to the process of helping it grow!
So most important, what is your flow? How are you feeling? What do you really need?
Ask. Listen. You are more powerful than the world would ever, ever have you believe.
Be mindful of the anger at the gate to your truth.
Experience you, learn from your own medicine, your own life experience: your unique Wisdom.
Who we are is what and how we do. Embrace your harvest, friends.
Get outside and celebrate, because you’re here, and you can.
Lammas blessings!!! Begin, again~
image, Antonio Rubino, 1907
image, Dugald Stewart (1753-1828)
Here’s a question to ponder, no right, no wrong. Just right now and what comes up organically when you trust yourself, and listen to your own inner voice.
What happened over the weekend? What was the theme? Who were you with? How did you show up to you, your needs? What was most meaningful?
To what, whom, how, did you arrive?
On the earth path, we consider where the tide of nature is in its seasonal energies, and where the moon and sun are in their cycles, too.
This past weekend was the dark moon–the last dark moon phase–of the winter, or season of the dark. The dark or reflective energy of life orients us to awareness that is hidden, shadowed, or that we are not conscious of, as much as it also is associated with rest, renewal, rejuvenation, restoration, nutritive descent, and disintegration of one form in order to emerge with one anew. It connects us in rich ways to process as the whole.
Dark as metaphor for winter is North on the medicine wheel, the phase of death and dying, the element of earth, and time spent underground. Over the weekend, with the alignment of the dark moon, it was a rich and wholesome time to embody this medicine in ways that were natural and complete, as we were simultaneously at the end of a natural cycle of nature.
The earth continues on in the completeness of this process of eternal regeneration. Yesterday, the last day of winter, I heard my first osprey! A seasonal, coastal bird of prey, Osprey has long been an organic sign for me of the earth changing seasons. As well, the week prior I found a fresh and tender patch of chickweed in the muck of swamp tidelands. Such sweet green, this little weed is a spring cleanse–I just LOVE that I happened on her in the decomp and decay of the swampy bogs!
And so it is that the tension of dark catalyzes new growth. The Vernal or Spring Equinox, today in the northern hemisphere, occurs when the center of the sun and the center of the earth pass.
This is a transition time, when we are literally in-between! Because of these orbits, we experience equal amounts of day and night on an equinox, or of light and dark. So we are in between equal dark and equal light right now as I write this at twilight. Literally the center line of the yin/yang.
Holding both. The light and the dark.
This is a powerful space right now to deepen this metaphor. No judgement, no shame: what do you consider is your light side, what do you consider your dark? How do the two overlap, how are you at allowing one side to inform the other? How are you at holding your own balance, relating to each? The yin inside the yang, the yang inside the yin.
Spring medicine turns us eastward on the medicine wheel. It is the element of air, and aligned with the seed breaking out of its casing to send roots downward, and to send first green shoots upward, again the medicine of both, and…! Instead of one or the other. It is time for birth on a continuum, specifically as birth is connected to the death of one form during winter and how that motivates growth and motion now.
From today onward, sunlight gains in minutes every day until we peak at the longest day on the summer solstice. We enter the season of light when energy is activating, in motion, and most apparent above the ground.
We gradually move into the time of year for engaging growth and change outwardly in your day to day!
I say gradually so that again, we do not miss the potency of in-between, of holding both, which is what the Equinox is all about!
Be well, friends! Be true to you. Begin within, then go on, get out there! Have fun.
Don’t let them tame you~
“If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.” Credit to my friend Jack, original author unknown.
I don’t know about that gopher critter, but here on the midatlantic seaboard, it was clouds and rain, so I for one am banking on a quick coming spring.
Today is Candlemas for the Catholics, and traditional first light, or Imbolc or Brigid’s Day for folk cultures in different places. It is when the light of the new harvest year breaks the first germinated seeds free. Brigid is my patron Goddess, lore of the Celts, and also a saint. I honor celebrations of the soulful aspects of tending the inner heart, home and hearth-fire light in her name, as well as veneration for my first true religion, poetry, and the Sacred Imagination.
Lunar Imbolc is a celebration that also connects the holiday to planting tides. It occurs during the new moon when the sun is in the constellation of aquarius. This year, lunar Imbolc occurs overnight, Valentine’s Day into the next day.
It is a cross-quarter celebration on the Medicine Wheel, highlighting the Northeast corner, a quickening period for ideas when the vision for new upcoming life is perceived but not seen, as winter and its dormancy wraps round the dreamer. When the dark space cooks the light within.
It is an initiation time in the women’s work, aligned with tasks of discernment in the house of the dark mother as well as oracle, prophecy and visioning.
Tend your dreams.
We are in this medicine until the next new moon.
Between the worlds of what was last year, and what will come.
Oh Imbolc–and that part we so struggle against–sacred in between.
One of my favorite parts about walking an earth path is just doing my life and getting to be surprised by the magic. I’m not talking about right now concentration on minding mind to lose yourself to the moment being. I’m talking about the last week has been messy house and piles of dishes and falling asleep in front of the tv. Just total flop mode. I took off from producing anything creatively for the whole month of January. It was my intent to track along with winter’s fallow season.
So this week I started getting inspired to like, color, journal, create. I aimed for Wednesday to hit the drawing board professionally. Wednesday came and felt like sludge. No go.
Instead, I could barely tumble from bed fast enough this morning, with the creative stirring and vision tiptoeing across my spirit, so soft and easy, so sweet and free as I woke.
The seeds break free, the light is cast.
As for me, I’m going dancin 🙂
In Oregon the Breitenbush river is a color of steel-teal that exists no other place on the earth and this must be partly because of the non-negotiable trees. It is easy to be grounded and feel at one in your place in a place like this. It is easy to revere the miracle of dirt: seasons of evergreen, of winter’s death and dying on into spring’s plenty and rebirth. Steps in the same dance. Willamette!! Land of gushing fat waters and springs, land of special color of trees. You taught me long ago the way of tree breath. Fog drip drop drinking, drinking in-out rhythm of water-air. How it feels when the trees give gifts of this. Subtle pine touch. The gentle sweetness of pine breath on skin.
The new moon was Monday. I was coming down from the Mountain which makes me laugh to write it but no for real, North of the Bay California on up to the Olympics, for me it’s one long extended two decades now of retreating then coming down off various mountains. Learning to speak bioregion. Unlocking the practical wisdom of the earth’s cyclic codes. So yea retreating and returning at once, had to catch me a plane back to the east coast.
The dark moon phase, that VOID CHAOS SPACE of deepest dark, was this past weekend.
So this past weekend, as the daylight grew shorter and shorter towards the peak of our year’s longest night tonight!!–the moon fell to her darkest phase, hidden from the totality of the sunlight. Sunday we experienced not the longest night of the year, but the darkest.
I was sitting with poetry in the Hot Springs on retreat with my brother Paul and Sita his dear love. They are Creative Advisory members of the Free School and they held space for me at their home in mountainside to dip in to that depth of deep sweet, yummy darkness, inky blackslide into mountainside stone, inky slide into infinite space oh those healing waters of surrounding mountain chains. Deep in, to do my own cleanse before winter~tonight~begins.
The dark, winter, death, the depths, dying. The dark, yin, passive, rest, renewal. The dark, anima. Realm of the Feminine. What some Catholics or mystics call Sophia. Gateway to the Soul.
Dark moon of the month on the dark moon tide of the year. And into tonight, the longest night. The entryway to Winter. We move now North on the medicine wheel. At sunset tonight we tend this passing, and it is movement that will show itself if you get outside, or take time to soften and relax inside of you, too. Transitory, transition. IN Between Space.
I just adore that winter is North on the wheel because that is associated with forward direction. And Winter’s element is Earth, and mama Earth at this time teaches us about dormancy. So the true direction, our next right step together? North? The needed ingredient for rebirth.
Let rest be our forward, healing direction.
Sacred Rest. Sacred Rest and internal, deep reordering, metabolic stillness the thick softness of slumber to help us reset.
Winter Solstice is a time connected to the Divine Mother. It is when we revere our matrilineal lines, and all our ancestresses. The holy power of birth as Solstice is too the celebration of the Return of the Sun and darkness decreasing! How only from the dark the light comes. How this darkness initiation gives way to life, how this wisdom teaches of life’s changes, we celebrate the many small deaths, the space this creates, the room for new growth, ever onward in a long cyclic dance. How the wisdom of the feminine is the wisdom of this fluidity, is the wisdom of the necessity of every aspect in the continuum.
Demetra George reminds of the many names of the dark aspect associated with the feminine, and it’s a meaningful meditation for the year. The world around, stories and cultural, sacred, and religious traditions root us to an archetypal realm full of depth for our exploration. The dark feminine “is called Kali in India, Hekate and Persephone in Greece, Lilith in the Near East, Fresh-kigal in Sumeria, Morgana in Britian, and Hel in Scandinavia. Moira, the Fates, the Fureis, Medusa, Medea, Crice, Nemesis, Nyx, the Gorgons, the Sirens, the Black Madonna, Cerrwiden, Nepyths, Black Isis, Oya, Coatlicue, Mother Holle, Baba Yuga, the Black Dakini, the Terrible Mother, the Bad Fairy and the Wicked Witch are some of her other names(p 29).”
Knowing my own dark feminine has meant courage. Courage at night when I can’t sleep, in morning meditation time during struggles and prayers to keep my heart in the game anyhow, courage keeping my tongue in relationships that are hard. Courage to challenge the self-thoughts of judgement and shame, the particular scrutiny of perfection addiction, that specific internalization of misogyny that only women can know.
My dark feminine knows what it’s like to live in a culture that says her stories are dark. Are the dark reflection of society. Are demon and dark, satanic or occult. Are not allowed to connect me to my unique narrative and exploration, sexuality and emotions, sensuality and biology. Are used against me to keep me out of my own body, to marginalize being in my own skin.
The Dark Feminine Narrative and Stories, if we reembody them, or encourage each other to tap in and rewrite them as our own, we know what it’s like to live in a culture that calls this sin.
Embracing this kinda darkness requires the grit that only living with this kind of darkness could create! We were made for these times. Sing it from the hills.
So I left the Mountain. Left too the Oregon Coast where I was celebrating the wise women. These spiritual, soulful elders that have shown me how to walk my walk a day at a time laughing and reveling, courageously cackling, all the way. These elder wise women. Time on the Mountain only counts when you embody it day to day. But to do that the body needs time. This Time on the Medicine Wheel leads us in to dropping in and relaxing. Celebrate. Drop in and transition. Drop in to bed! Let the reset happen. Man or woman, how does the feminine as sacred exist in your life?
I send my roots down to the Earth as the circle of the year turns us North and Winter here is barren and life lives underground. I root to my roots, send thanks and honor, prayers and love to the lineage of strong females whose lives and hands and hearts midwifed lives and hands and hearts that midwifed lives and hands and hearts all the way down to mine in a million different ways, that I do the same that I do the same that I do the same,
my dark feminine soaks in this infinite wish, and sends love~
To all beings blessings and love, in the light spiritedness and whole soulfulness, in the body, in the heart, of unconditional love may all beings be blessed and
Happy Winter to All.
~ ~ ~
prayers and love to beth and paul h and ana and amy and kristina and jotto all of whom hit me up in the center of this reverie with poetry, prayers and love and prayers and love reader, to you~
Death has been a primary teacher for me.
This started when I was 20, that epic summer me and a bestie and a brother who’s now passed from drugs travelled an 11,000 mile circle around our country. Two decades ago already.
A week before that trip started, a young man my brother and I grew up car-pooling to school, lunchtime swim sessions bologna sandwiches bmx bikes and saving the princess with, got killed in a gnarly car accident on the side of I-95. My brother was invited to be on the trip in the car with him but did not go.
That tragedy shook us down.
A week after we lost him, right at the start of the summer on Solstice tide, my Grammy died. She and my pop who died in 87 had this little two bedroom plus an attic house right inside the city line, Brooklyn Park, Bmore Maryland, USA. They brought 7 kids and near three times the amount of grandkids to this world.
So between losing Grammy and our neighborhood homie, that summer I went on the road the first time death was running my ass down.
Later, by the time I got the La Catrina put on my back, I was well versed in death wisdom. I was sober by then. I had buried countless friends to drug addiction and its associated physical and mental fall out. I had also undergone a powerful inward transformation as the result of the end of a longterm romance. Endings are a kind of death. That ending initiated me into the power of the Darkness as the realm of the Feminine.
The year I lived way out on the river to grieve the ending of that part of my life, La Catrina used to call to me on the river wind. I mean it. I was an english teacher to undocumented, mostly Mexican students. I lived on the river and confronted who I am alone? I was reading for the upteeeenth time Women Who Run With the Wolves, and in reverence daily with “my inner wild wisdom” as I’d taken to calling that endless, indestructible still point within. La Catrina became for me that point of reverence, that river below the river, that ONE life that holds all. She even showed up on an artist date with me, a ceramic figurine in a little store that used to sit on a corner at the docks in downtown Annapolis. That figurine and a similar one sit atop my alter as I write this right now.
Death is our one fundamental truth as humans. The only thing that’s guaranteed.
My embracing of this particular wisdom is the single motive behind why I jump into my life with passion and presence and vitality a day at a time. It’s how I maintain loving as much as I possibly can.
The female body knows all about this metaphor of death, dying, decrease. Our body’s teach us every month. Dark wisdom. For the feminine, through the death, rebirth, life, death cycle our biology inherently experiences, holds all gnosis concerning the secrets of life. In the soul work, the women’s wisdom soul work, we look at the parts of us we had to kill off to survive. We embrace the healing of grieving for those old wounds and losses, and in that way, breathe life and living, rebirth, back into our heart’s broken spaces.
Today is an important day in the Samhain tide. All Souls Day for the Catholics, this is the final day of the Los Dias De Los Muertos, the day in which we pray for the souls of our dead.
From the Wisdom of the Dark Feminine perspective, it is a power tide for naming our own losses to self, for both women and men. A great equalizer, death or the Thantos archetype in the soul is part of the continuum of the balance of life. When we embrace who we have become because of what we have let go. And perhaps, who we are still yet to be by re-embracing parts of ourselves we killed off or forced away.
The full moon peaks this weekend. Death on the medicine wheel reminds us. What has been, is, and is yet to be all emerges from the same place. This is a moon to tend this.
Samhain tide. When we are called with reverence to the fleetingness of life. To embrace, celebrate, grieve, give thanks. And maybe? To get real… That is a medicine of death and dying to me. To practically look at the truth of things. At what simply is.
When we give ourselves the freedom of this clean kind of looking at life, space is created because we no longer resist what we cannot change. When we look at what is real then we can transform not what we see, but how we choose to respond.
A good meditation on the day of prayer for All Souls.
Nothing teaches you the patience life requires better than life itself. A basic axiom that even kicking and fighting each of us are tasked to learn: Letting go. That is the medicine I am finding myself practicing this week, as we enter the stillness of the lunar reset, the void chaos-rest space of the balsamic moon. I don’t know about you guys but my energy is sure on that wane. Being reminded of the power and the struggle: accepting that over other people, and over the variety of possible manifestations of the future in the right now, I have no control.
Ohhh life!! And how I’ve learned and relearned! That in letting go, space is always created. And spaciousness allows softness, tenderness, the capacity to move, to relax, to receive. To grow…
This is the medicine of right now on the year’s wane. This week’s new moon is the gnostic entry into the Underworld, the third and final harvest rite. The women’s wisdom or celtic earth path calls this Lunar Samhain and the women in my women’s circle seemed all to resonate to the same theme: Finally, We Enter Darkness. Sacred Invitation to Rest.
First, however, the pitch and UnRest! Of Lunar Samhain.
Traditional Samhain, known also as the more mundane Halloween, is about the relationship between peak fruition of fertility into the lean of life force completing its whole potentiality by decreasing and dying. We hate death and dying, ward off the dark by dressing up as the creatures and monsters we fear at Halloween. But what of the wisdom? What of the medicine of the dark? Letting go and surrendering is a process of absorbing and reflecting all at once, holding all the growth and reintegrating all of the different aspects this year of “Us”. Accepting, no judgment, no shame. All of the experiences that lived through you and who and how you’ve been shaped. This is now a distilling process, clarification by review of all this, and release…
And that can feel tense, flat. Still. Exhausting. Remember, it is the dark moon motion to hold us in a entropy feel. The moon cycle that will come after will increase the length of nighttime darkness more and more until winter is ushered in. For me, with a small gentle sigh and lean, it has felt like the active alchemy of opening my heart even though I don’t want to because it’s getting dark!! but trust is an action word, so allowing what I am carrying this year, all that I have fed and tended and grown, to fulfill its course with or without my control.
Patience, acceptance, letting go. Lunar Samhain: trusting the process of dark, of what we can not see. Of the passive power of energy wane, of decrease… and renewal.
Harvest season exists the world around and is one of the most ancient of all rites. Every person every place has a place that raised her and as long as there’s been life on MaMa Earth, this holds true. Her seasons move in increase and decrease, and so at Samhain we allow this letting go. It is time too of the religious holidays of All Saints and All Souls Days and Sukkoth, as well as the reverence for ancestors and death as a divine power of life during Los Dias De Los Muertes, and is also connected to a variety of both ancient goddess venerations and modern agricultural festivals. The weather changes, it is reflected in the length and depth of dark shadows, the steady motion of wind whisper in the tops of trees, the burnish bronze of late season light in the leaves and colors. We go on hayrides, drink hot cider, pick pumpkins and other seasonal gourds.
I like the earth path because our custom as American’s is the Harvest tradition of Thanksgiving, but gently tending blessings and harvests now, and letting go and space-making through out the Fall usually helps me walk into the holidays mindfully and with minimal chaos. This week especially we mind mind, note tensions and what is living, what is lost. What makes us feel uncomfortable if we have to hold still! We note life’s living/letting go wisdom, the transient power of bittersweet joy/pain over getting to experience without always being able to control. When we consider the station of Fall and the West on the medicine wheel, we think of sunset, of that precious moment of last light on the horizon. We recall that ultimately, all things pass.
And the new day will come again.
And so it is often my practice at Samhain tide to revere, among my blessings of the year and what must be let go, my ancestors. When I remember those that are no longer here, I see the ways in which I am a living growing example of their seeds. What a miracle this is, how I get to be tilling the ground for my own life’s accumulations and legacies tomorrow, and how none of that could’ve happened without my own ancestral and community webs.
From what and where do we seek our values, and how? How do we practice this, and how do our energies align? What is our legacy, what will we leave? How do we repay the gifts our elders have bestowed upon us, and how do we practice accountability and responsibility to any ruptures, injuries, or wounds? To whom are we connected, and how? Am I accountable?
How are my relations? There is not a more powerful time in our history, as far as the four short decades I have been here that is, to ask questions like these.
The power of consciousness: choosing to witness and be mindful in your own life. To say thanks, to tend your tides of growth and release, of the season’s fruits being turned back to the earth. Marking with reverence the accompanying cycles of letting go, rest, renewal, death, rebirth. Knowing that all we can do is be true to our own self right now, and take whatever small actions we can just for today, allowing the heart to soften into the knowing of right now is plenty, is enough, embodying such wisdom… These, the lessons of reflection put into practice as the natural season ushers in the Underworld this week with Lunar Samhain. How that can burn, to open the heart in such a posture of releasing and allowing, how it can feel so counter to life’s frenzy, to pause right now. Be still. Be still with the wane. The release. Acknowledge the power of the season of the dark.
What a year, no? Our first moon cycle in 2017 inaugurated a man as the leader of our metaphoric house who bragged about the exploitation and objectification of the female body. Our values supported this.
The normalization of exploitation in this house is unacceptable.
The female body. The female body. The female body.
How is your house? How are you tending your one true sacred space?
At home–here on earth, our first and most taken for granted body–what’s it been like for you? What level of your own shame stories, meaning your internal narratives about your worth, about being or not being good enough, about your rights, have you become more aware of this year?
How mindful of the stress you are carrying, its physicality, are you? The stories that your body is carrying about you and your experience?
How well have you been at declaring your own right to your own path of unique heart, spirit, soul?
From an earth-based perspective, the growing season of the year relies as much on what has decomposed being turned under, transforming to nutrients, as it does on the potentiality of wild starry fruits blossoming from a single seed. It is an endless continuum of stages and cycles, from dying and dark to birthing, blooming, fruiting, and harvesting, too.
When the moon is dark she is between the earth and the sun, and her other half sends the light of the sun back at itself. We here on earth fall still in her darkness, a holding, receptive gravity.
The moon holds all, receptive and active.
When she is active or full she is at the height of light, actually reflecting the light of the sun back on us here on earth.
Between these two polarities are the fluidity of transitions of dark and light. Metaphoric, yes. And also cyclic and specific. Both applications, and all their subtleties, are necessary. Again, the feminine holds all.
From a menstrual perspective, we track our personal moons. Chances are our personal moon doesn’t follow the actual moon. So we use the moon’s phases as a metaphor to understand both the biology and psychology of the feminine psyche.
The new moon as metaphor is day one, or when we first bleed. When we first bleed, we are dying and birthing at once, as now we re-engage the solar or ovulatory, fertile aspect of our selves. As the days of our cycle accumulate, we track where we are. We learn to re-embody the fluidity of the inter-lobal functioning of the female body, for again, the feminine holds all. For example, at stage four, the Gibbous moon, which can be anywhere from about day 7 through day 17 depending on your unique, beautiful and powerful body, we undergo an abrupt rise in the neuropeptides FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). There is a rise in estrogen level and left hemisphere brain activity and simultaneous testosterone and right hemisphere activity and increase in libido. Read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom to learn more!
Our discharge is known at this time as E-type mucus, which is when small tubules are present in our discharge that hold sperm! This is us in our fertile, almost full cycle. At stage 5, our metaphoric full moon, G-type mucus immediately follows the release of our ovum, and this sort of mucus actually keeps us from getting pregnant. Like the moon at her peak active phase when she’s full, our bodies too lean from our full momentum back into ourselves. And so at peak fertility we start again towards the reflective, recycling, dark and dying phases.
The growing season on earth follows these 8 stages, too!
Lammas, again using the metaphor of the phases of the moon, can be understood as stage 6, the Disseminating Moon. Like for the year! Disseminating moon, according to Demetra George’s Mysteries of the Dark Moon is the “first stirring of dark,” when the seed has become what it was meant and the “life impulse must fulfill, distribute energy and disseminate and share the value of the meaning.” From a menstrual perspective, it is “the luteal phase” when “we turn more inward, preparing to develop or give birth from something deep within ourselves.” (Northrup, 2010)
Disseminating moon is the fruiting phase, or harvest. Whether an ovum has been fertilized, or it was the fertility of a new idea that peaked, maybe a transformed inner narrative, or however it was that you lived out this growing cycle psychologically, biologically, spiritually and creatively, the disseminating moon phase from a menstrual perspective is the fruiting time, our first harvest. After peak fertility phase.
And so it is we celebrate Lammas, the First Harvest of the earth’s natural growing year. People who tend these concepts, embodying them and staying close to nature, outside with feet grounded upon her and skin and blood and biology and body in one rhythmic inhalation exhalation of all that is, recognize this as connected to a variety of different anthropological rites. Traditions the world over acknowledge with celebration the bounty of fruit on the vine at summer’s height.
From a lunar perspective, which for me is the feminine-embodied perspective, we celebrate Lunar Lammas when the moon is in the sun sign of Leo and full.
So, ya with me? We learn to track the phases of the moon, and then to metaphorically apply these phases. They can inform the dark and light aspects of our biology, and of the seasons of the year. We too learn to hold all, to think quantum or multi-dimensionally, to hold our still point within, and All At Once at once!
Lunar Lammas is the full moon on Monday, August 7, this year. Already the sun-made shadows of heaping breathy green tree walls here are muddled, that certain angle of soupy dark I so love.
Mind what this moon cycle brings. It is your harvest. What will you reap? Mind what stories live, what experiences happen. Mind your light and your dark. Mind your experiences this month from a reflective viewpoint that holds the continuum of the year, all those spirals of moon around the far side of the earth and back to between the earth and sun, again and again.
What is illuminated under the active light of her reflecting back the height of the summer sun? For that is what happens on Lunar Lammas.
Unplug from your computer or other e-devices. Leave your phone in the car and get outside. Restore your natural circadian rhythm from all that electronic interference.
Give yourself back to yourself. Back to your body. Back to the earth. The natural perfect spheres of rhythm. Happy first harvest season friends~!!
To understand more, make some time and visit my Facebook page. We will spend this month learning more about the moon’s 8 phases.
This full moon presents us with a reality highlight. A shining on who we are in our most present, day to day, practical ways.
Who we are is how we Be.
Discernment can be tough when it comes to understanding what I mean. Societal arousal is high. The open, gaping wound of fear-driven, hate-talk projections can be so consuming We all easily forget that we co-create our experience, we are not victims, we are powerful not powerless, imagination is infinite and love is pure and transformational, we are responsible, we can begin within.
Nature teaches. What we sow we reap, and this is what begin within means.
Begin within. What stories do you tell yourself? Literally, what does your self-talk look like?
Do you listen to your inner guidance? Do you trust yourself?
Begin again. Do you take time to feed yourself instead of over-caffenate? Do you constantly expose yourself to an endless steam of social media and click bait content, chemically co-creating your own addiction to hyper-arroused cortisol, your stress hormone? Do you fall to sleep with your head wired to electronics? Is it how you wake?
This also is food, what your brain, heart, and soul absorb.
Begin again. How are your relations? One basic tool I practice is that if my relationships with others are off it usually means I am not being accountable to my own relationship to my self. What I don’t confront within myself I will act out in my relations. This is called projection.
Baby steps. Be gentle with self-truth.
How are you feeling and what do you need to be accountable to? Meaning how do I feel, in my body, right now? What do I need?
Gentle, gentle. Begin again:
People who come from environments where displacing their needs was the norm, like those who experienced normalized dangers like violence or poverty, who had an abuser in the home, who had untreated substance abuse in the home, were taught it wasn’t safe. They unconsciously, through the normalization of this is not safe, learn that it is unacceptable to feel because to survive meant silencing or repeatedly ignoring the normal metabolic, stress-relieving processes of feeling. Folks like this may struggle with the concepts in this post.
That silencing, that self-shaming, becomes a part of your chemical program. It creates the perceptions you have of safety and the world around you. If these normalized traumas exist in the home, we call it systemic because it is of the family system. If it exists in the community, we call it cultural. There is almost always a relationship between one and the other.
What we don’t work out, we act out.
Woman as sexualized object is so normalized that we are accused of sexualizing our selves if we dress in ways that flatter our body. Consider how normalized this dangerous ideal is of shaming the female body.
This is crazy. Name it. Feel it. Break down patterns inside yourself that support shame. Breakdown paves the way for breakthrough.
Woman as caretaker is so normalized that mothers and wives often believe they must carry the entire emotional reality of their children and husband/partner. Consider how dangerous this is to shaming your own rights to your own needs, and how dangerous it is to the system because it teaches everyone that they don’t have to be accountable to their own.
This is crazy. Name it. Feel it. Breakdown paves the way for breakthrough.
Often coming into real health for folks can first look and feel crazy! Because when an individual starts to see that she was taught to participate in the normalization of negating her own needs in order to survive it can feel like she is going crazy. Breaking denial deregulates a persons entire reality.
Break down paves the way for breakthrough.
Healing is a process, health is a process. Transformation happens. Begin within.
Begin within. Begin now. What stories do you tell yourself about your ability, your right to meet your own needs? About what you need and what would happen if you gave yourself the self-care you need?
This moon highlights the peak growing season of spring. Metabolic storages of sunshine getting ready to transform to fruit and bounty! Begin again. Tolerance and love can only be practiced when we are in the habit of tending it inside ourselves. This is an active energy moon, manifesting! Tolerate your truth without judgement. Tolerate your own shame, your own feelings, any self-shaming stories or ways within you with the compassion you would give a best friend. This moon WILL highlight (GROW) whatever your energy level is…which is connected to your stress…which is connected to your self-stories and relationships…which is connected to how you feed your own needs.
Begin within: What are you exposing yourself to? How can you reframe what you are feeling, what you tell yourself, to understand it as your own needs crying out to be met?
What is seen beneath this moon the elders used to say was prophetic! This ain’t metaphysics hahaha! Simply put, we are complicit: we are accountable to how free we keep the infinite source of our heart, our mind, our soul. We are accountable to our choices and how they interconnect us in relationships. Begin within, what do you sow? How consciously, gratefully, joyously do you choose to take this one chance we get to live? This moon is a spotlight into that.
It will grow us toward the peak of the light season–summer’s start. This moon tide will hold us to ourselves, full moons bring the tension of more light, literally the sunlight reflected back at us in the middle of the night sky… Sunlight that increases until it pitches to its height at the Solstice, and after that–harvest or growth will be a momentum that we are already in the middle of.
So Now is a time to tend. Now is the time. Always. Right now. It’s all we have.
Begin again. Be gentle. If you want to change the world, start within yourself. Change happens within with the soft steadiness of love.
Happy Full moon, friends xo
Beltane, if celebrated on the lunar-led earth path of the medicine wheel, is tonight.
Ancestors used to celebrate Beltane as the traditional start of summer.
Think fire, passion!! May Day, when maidens danced the Maypoles and the lusty earth was potent with the growing BLOSSOMS that at spring were birthed! When certainly some of those ancestors made love to celebrate the union of romance and marriage, as the union of sun and earth that produced the fertility of crops every year.
What a special time to think of LOVE.
Agape LOVE. Unconditionally altruistic, life giving, accepting. Transformative. Eros love, the craving for union, the longing for self and other as One. DIVINE LOVE.
I start tending my “dark” side at Halloween. On the medicine wheel, I walk an embodied daily understanding of as within, so without, and vice versa. For me, this is the truest way to be in sacred relations to all of life.
What this means is that when the days darken, I tend the season of the dark. I take it as reality that from Fall Equinox onward, and especially when we reach November and the time changes, this is a time when I am closest to my own interior darkness.
Recall (from Wild Women Wisdom, Ovulation and the Active Imagination, Nov 13, 2014) that the psyche projects its earliest understanding of dualistic thinking. Dualism is self and other. Think as well of opposites, mom and dad, good and bad, right and wrong becomes internalized as the right worldview. Good behavior is behavior that gets positive feedback so all else is bad behavior. This becomes an unconscious way we relate to the world!
Dualism is the nature of consciousness. Carl Jung deepened our modern understanding of this by helping us realize that what we are conscious of, our thoughts and feelings that we can see or name, has a compensatory opposite energy too that we can’t or don’t. He called this our shadow.
Basically, what we associate with as bad we will stuff into our shadow, where it dominates the unconscious. In this way, what we don’t work out will get acted out. Or as Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Tonight, and in general what is peaking or being brought to the light right now, is related to your conscious or unconscious experiences from late October onward.
One of the reasons (from Wild Women Wisdom, Wildness on the Full Moon Tide, Jan 5, 2015) women repress their strength or natural association with the realm of the feminine godhead (and therefor with the realm of the collective unconscious) is because we in Western society esteem a male God. Meaning the feminine has been relegated to the shadow.
The feminine, however, was at one time divined among many other aspects through menstrual mysteries.
During the 14th and 15th centuries 9 million women burnt at the stake because of a document known as the malleus maleficarum which associated menstrual mysteries with being a witch (see Shuttle and Redgrove’s (2005) The Wise Wound for more info.)
Inherent feminine wisdom, or the biological fact that we are cyclical and rhythmic just as the moon and the sun, the seasons and the tides, had to be buried deep within the collective psyche. It was demonized or repressed, which means shamed to the extent that rhythmic knowledge of one’s own psyche either as a female, or in regards to anima or feminine instincts, became associated with Satanism!
Lets consider more closely the archetypal mind of the Goddess, or the feminine divine, as a counterpart to the more known and illumined God. The Goddess oversees the realm of dark, night, intuition, death and rebirth (because the female rules the women’s mysteries, of which birth is one) receptivity, and on a more temporal or practical level, emotions, though that is equally an embodied male or animus or egoic part of the process as well (see Ann Ulanov’s interpretation for more on this.)
Bessel van der Kolk is a doctor who coined the term developmental or complex trauma. This is when the nervous system experiences normalized, environmental traumas like untreated substance abuse in the family, domestic violence, or poverty, among other things.
I would like to suggest that the wound of the feminine, or the collective suppressing of the power of the feminine, is an untreated complex trauma in society at large.
In my own experience, healing it means healing the wound of, in Erich Neumann’s words, the patriarchal uroboros in the feminine psyche.
Uroboros is the snake eating its own tail. Think about it. If the feminine’s strength is the darkness, and the darkness is also what’s been demonized both through the repression of feminine instinct as well as as the demonization of dark as wrong or bad, well then. That’s kind of a problem that, like the uroboros, is self-perpetuating.
This Beltane my dear friends, WRITE ON YOUR HEART A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF TO LOVE YOURSELF WHOLE AGAIN: Shame shames shame. The shame cycle is part of the nebulous core of almost all complex traumas. SHAME SHAMES SHAME. This is the patriarchal uroboros.
Begin within. Healing is about awareness, keeping right relations within by starting to love yourself by being with exactly how you are feeling right now. Healing is about softening, utilizing the Wise self to be with, to accept what is right now. To accept unconditionally gives us the choice to Love. To serve and to create union with the shadowed aspects that the Full moon illumines.
At Beltane, let us align our Wise selves with the sacred heart of Divine Love inside of each of us, and transform shame. Healing is not so much an action plan as a way in which we learn to unconditionally accept and relate to our self.
This be my prayer for us all!
“LOVE OR FEAR? You have to love yourself. You have to feel that you deserve to be happy and that you deserve to live and you deserve to love. Because two emotions can’t exist at the same time…Emotions are the tone of your whole BodyMind.” Dr. Candace Pert
The human MindBody is QUANTUM. Repeat that a million times while smiling and chanting YUM over and over in the harmony of Om, and educate yourself about it until you understand what I mean.
The moon navigates us gravitationally. Up down up down. Repeat this, too.
The western wound of the Feminine is a metaphoric understanding that demonizes the role of emotions–the flow of nuropeptides-– and therefor creates an adverse affect, or literally the back-up of emotions in our body. So I will name this wound metaphorically the Role of the Victim.
What areas in your life do you self-vicitimize? Dig on it, think on it. I’ll say it again: The wound of the Feminine translates in the body as the wound of not being allowed to feel. VICTIM.
We experience Shame for feelings. We Shame Our Feelings. Which is a spiral, the Shame Cycle. I shame how I feel so that chemically, when I feel, I feel shame. DANG! It keeps the Victim in place.
And guess what, you can get addicted to that bad-feeling fear-based Shame Cycle!
Cognitive behavior therapy is an inherent behavioral science that underlies all EBT (evidence based treatment) models for therapy, and is elsewhere found in the 12-steps. From a Cog B perspective, we might say VICTIM is a Core Belief. Maybe The Core Belief? In any case, most of us know what it’s like to walk around with repressed fear at our core, for sure.
Victim. I deserve or belong in pain. I am worth Nothing.
How do you relate to being a Victim in your own life? What about Martyr?? There’s a real connection here to codependency in relationships, too.
We disown our own needs all the time because we pathologize everything haha because of that whole addicted to feeling bad thing, and pathologizing keeps that secured!
Why do we deny our needs?
We receive a million stories a day that a) We can’t change the way things are (because we’re Victims) and also B)Feeling anything but positive is wrong. Haha so then we depress our feelings. Because it’s wrong to feel bad. And so then what do we do? Try to medicate them! AND YOUR BRIAN CHANGES EVERY TIME YOU CHRONICALLY MEDICATE FEELINGS! Learn about the science of addictions! The science of the BodyMind! LORD! Learning to name feelings and feeling them. Check your self. For real. What ways do you Victimize your self? Cuz you believe it’s easier than feeling how you feel, and owning what you need?
It’s worth a look.
On the somatic level this impacts your immune system. To depress your feelings and other basic (think Maslow) physiological needs. And then shows up in your hormones. Which have to do biologically with how you process stress and also, is impacted by your diet and other genetic and environmental factors including being fed and getting enough sleep. This wiring gets passed on to your kids! And is ultimately, again, about whether or not those basic needs are met, and then if we are able to process stress and deal with our emotions day to day.
SUCH MIRACLES we each are, if we get mindful about our miraculous capacities! Literally. Mindfulness is the Healer Within. Such miracles we are even if we’re not mindful of it! Either way 🙂
This conversation is different from chemical imbalances that people suffer with, requiring medication in order to function. That’s very real. But it’s also related, because in the same conversation we could look at how many of those peoples are a composite of at least a generation of unprocessed complex trauma (basic needs not met, power dynamics that create neglect or abuse in the family, community or home) and they end up dealing with said familial or societal imbalance through substance use and abuse, which takes us back to the neuropeptides of emotions again, and the soft wiring of DNA Feels, and unmet needs.
In any case. Own your needs by getting real with your self about what is really real in your life, right now.
And at least open your mind with me when I suggest that there is Collective Subconsciousness to Patterns. That show up, against the very real cycles of practical things like Nature’s Growing Season. I mean. You’re living and growing, right? I sure hope so.
The Wound Of The Feminine is in us ALL. It begins within. That’s all.