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.
The dark is the power of the feminine, as death is the power of life.
The dark moon, before she peaks. This is the feminine in her essence. Without the light of the sun, which is the light we see nocturnally reflected at us via La Luna, she is who she is. NO MASKS. Nothing but herself to feel, to witness, to be with, to see.
Take heart dear friends, tonight’s New Moon will move us finally into a real initiatory feeling of light and movement. Some of this tension–WHICH lS THE TENSION OF BIRTH, WHICH IS THE MEDICINE OF SPRING—birth comes not easy, now! Do not quit!! will be surpassed by the new life bubbling within.
But you must claim it. You must set out for it, you must take up, on your behalf, your own fight.
For your light. Your heart. Your soul. Your LIFE.
Trust the flow. Take quiet time right now, dark moon is the most powerful time to get still, to go within.
Be gentle with what is, with what you see or feel there.
This be my prayer~~
Happy new moon friends!
Lunar Imbolc comes early this year, overnight!
It is the New Moon in Aquarius, and is a tide you began to feel when the moon entered her last quarter or wane towards the dark moon, which happened Tuesday.
This is the first seed or sap rising moon, when the subtle momentum of life force starts to stir you awake with true vision for your year!
I’ll say that again–now that the holidays whir is behind us, this is the moon tide that brings VISION for the year to come!!!
For fun, if you journal or record anywhere, look back in August at the full moon–these are cross quarters so these two moons have a relationship continuum.
Prepare, though. This moon cycle will feel a little slow, so rest A Lot! It is mercury retrograde, too. Starts this week.
Making it best to lean in to winter, use her to your advantage! Slow down and just use the cosmic line-up to witness. Witness within, witness your thoughts, beliefs, stories that need transforming. This is the tide! Merc Retros are soul reviews, and with the early Imbolc tide this year, this retro gives us a great chance to clean up whatever still needs attention from basically Halloween onward~
Happy Lunar Imbolc. Stay WILD.
In every place I’ve ever lived I’ve made habit of going out walking. The funniest walk habit that just pops to mind is in Easton and wild crafting out of people’s manicured or otherwise front lawns. I got sick I guess from chemicals once. Here in Laguna Canyon if I go out walking that can mean all through out the nooks and crannies of Hobbit Lane or it can mean an artfest or it can mean an entire little village next to the sea or it can mean to the sea, and even up to the heart of town where my laundry gets done and coffee is roasted. All this on foot.
It also can mean in to the canyon and its million different wild paths…which is where the instinct led me today. First, all thanks under this sacred tide for the fact that the life I wanted to lead, led by my own tides, has come to be. Last year’s intention of commitment and Nature and Hearth and Poet-heart gnosis magic.
I was so into my street bc really, crevices of fairy ribbons and green. All over the place. Like I got home and later before I sat to write this but after the hike about which I write, a little black cat even w the lime green eyes came and stared in my screen. I have seen her once before and that was when she crossed my path last night 🙂
But what I came here to write about is the Imbolc Tide and how that found me, or led me? to the canyon today. Meaning to me that since the moon got into her last quarter wane you can feel the Imbolc archetype in it–in the wild outside. Sap Rise. Nature of things.
It said, like almost with words if words were capable of feeling in your body, which I guess yea they are–how some words like names or places give you a feeling. The words like fresh air on my skin were the canyon, how would it be to be in the canyon today? And also at once I could see-feel the brown and rain-green against the vibrating blue.
So out I went through Hobbitt Lane and then next was wild crafting in the canyon, mostly just checking in with the tender primacy of the new shoots, gathering their smells and basic habitats–growing companions etcetera. And so off I went on one unmarked path, one of the first you hit on the trail at the bottom of my street, and before I knew it i was led to the clearing green, where I have been before bc here it looks out on the sea. But this time there was a labrythn there! And much as it could’ve been there when last I was here, I certainly didn’t see.
And I threw off my bag and ran to the labyrinth and gave out my intention sure as it’s been for this year all along. And round I walked and it was so immediate, how essential, and real. How I knew I was embodying the Imbolc tide, bc this is the Way w Earth Wisdom. To let her imbibe, to not just meditative tend but to be out and fee her. I don’t know who put this sacred spiral off the beaten path. But all thanks bc that was amazing.
I reached the center and constructed my own little offering. I knew with clarity what it said by the center, and what I had melted with in response by the time I reached the end. This is good medicine, a good posturing on the year: highest harmony and love. I talked for a long time then to a dear wise sister friend. Only very few would be allowed into Nature magic like that. It made me remember Spence, the surfer I met on the beach at sunset last year closer to traditional Imbolc. I took him hiking in to the canyon at dusk and showed him to open his sight and we were super dropped in and came eye to eye with coyote in the twilight.
And so, this is lunar Imbolc tide, from tonight until the New Moon of Monday night in to Tuesday. She will move you if merely say yes to the most minor wild whisperings in your soul. Traditional Imbolc is Feb 1, this is Christian’s Brigid’s Day or the Feast of this Goddess/Saint. Goddess of first light, instinct, vision of pre-dawn insight, first seed. Poeticly charged and inspired. My patroness. This magic will therefor last until the full moon of Feb 3.
SO RAD to be out there and let the harmony of earth-wild tide move me. I tended my inner tides in the labyrinth and saw very clearly some of the precious gold seeds ready to grow with the season of the sun. I made offerings about the land and took some newest shoots of black sage. It’s exciting, I have a graduation coming up and then…so much room for fun 🙂
All love, happy tides! Begin within, then go on and get out there!
Today’s New Moon, around 5:30pm in California, marks the end/start of a new cycle. In addition, this evening the sun reaches its furthest point from the earth’s Northern hemisphere, granting the shortest amount of daylight, the longest amount of darkness, and our entry in to winter. We know this as the Winter Solstice.
On the mystery path, we recognize Nature and inner nature as intrinsically connected. Inner nature I refer to here as soul. Outside, excess harvest has gone to rot, the rot turned under will cook and turn to nutrients and rich soil. Life energy wanes, appears still, happens mostly underground.
When the moon is dark, as in the past two days, deep tending of personal darkness happens naturally, rhythmically…Of course as we are human we resist this though! Which lends even more to that holiday feeling of restlessness and exhaust. Seek surrender, embodiment of emotions, of our up down waxes and wanes, soften unto you. With the apex of Night this evening, understand that we have walked hand in hand with our shadows, burrowed deep in the mire of our individual and collective unconscious, all week.
Last night was, literally, the Dark Night of the Soul.
Harried bones and souls seek solace right now, a soul-tired significant of the Sun’s long journey to the furthest axis of sky. Depending on your personal circadian cycle, maybe you do best in the dark! For some this becomes the most creative time of year. For others life energy wanes and increased rest is important. No matter what, the decrease of light has its effects.
Traditionally the Solstice was a time for the women to gather and ceremoniously mark the losses they experienced for the year. As the soul wanes, this is a traditional and normal aspect of the dark phase–acknowledgment of the areas where your inner self or soul is colored by its capacity to grow and integrate more wholly specifically because it has experienced pain. With loss comes the embodied experience of forgiveness, strength, compassion, hope. Ritual bathing, quiet honoring of the journey of this year and your own personal darkness, honoring of the power of death and dark as part of the sacred journey are all intrinsic to the Solstice. On the wisdom path we practice this dropping in and tending with every monthly aspect of the dark moon.
Take heart! Life is a continuum, a long spiral. The Winter Solstice, just as the moon in her new phase, marks the return of the light! Tonight we honor Hope, the return of life. In her darkest phase (the past two days) when life energy and light disappear, it is out of this momentum that the new spark of consciousness stirs. This most precious spark must be nurtured, held warm in hibernation now through the toil of the season of dark. Doing so is how the momentum for life will grow strong. Rest, tend quiet in an active way. The beingness of doing nothing, of activeness of waiting, yearning, and tending. The active embodiment of Hope.
My own embodiment of this path brought me in relation to a personal and ancestral archetype this year. Tending her has been difficult, painful, and deeply wholesome. She has helped me nurture Eros by bringing me to face my most fundamental wounds. This has helped me, most importantly, to understand that I judge and resist my own injured parts, and it is the judging and resistance that makes me most human. As always, wisdom begins here, with deep love, and gentle, unconditional acceptance for these hard, rigid judgy parts inside my own mind and heart. Unconditional love and acceptance for my own broken humanness. Right relations begin within.
To be in a harmonious way with these most shadowed, or disembodied parts of me that I seek to hate or judge, I made the top shelf of my alter an homage to my Ancestresses this week. These women, my grandmother on the side of my most familial wound specifically, became the living spirit of the dark goddess. Grammy is gone from this life, and in death I can recognize in an embodied way the wisdom of loss and how we grow and learn in perspective to this. This sort of dark tending makes the women’s work come alive for me in an incredibly sacred and day to day way.
Tending the sacred with personal sacraments like these extend into my daily life and all my relationships. This is what I mean by embodying and right relations.
Sleep now the dream of winter, hibernate as souls stir underground, in the void, and grow strong in their own essence by being held amid the winter still. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Love, accept, gentleness.
Rest well, honoring the rhythms of birth and growth and life and death and rest, until rebirth. Happy Solstice! Happy Sacred Return.
Valkyrie, at my alter. Norse Death Goddess; image by Susan Seddon Boulet
The wind blows here in Pennsylvania with a giant sweep like the angels have a push-broom going shhooshhh shoooshhhh shooooshhh because they’ve come to scrub slates clean. Another growth season passes, our internal clocks right now take pause, especially with this unique alignment of New Moon. Now more than ever your Psyche says gimmee Quiet, take A Moment! Give thanks for what you can see.
Right now you have light-touched eyes.
Take A Moment. Make it Holy. This is your choice, how to be Wise.
We enter now together the season of dark, when what has grown decreases and dies on the vine in order to become food that feeds next years seeds. What do we honor, cherish? What needs to be turned under and let go of? Learning to honor the natural cycles of birth, living and dying are the true lessons of the soul. this is how to understand rebirth, which every human experiences as we grow.
With the season of dark upon us with a New Moon(the restart/rebirth of every month!) too, here is an important question: From down, deep deep inside, from your own unique, regenerative essence within: What do I wish to grow?
In this quiet space, what are your wildest dreams? Or, perhaps more humbly, what subtle inward shifts do you need? This is the time to be still, take the time to see, to be honest with Self, meet those intentions deep within, and align your heart so they may grow.
From gratitude for this years bounty comes tomorrow, and especially next year’s, seeds.
We enter now the time of Sacred Rest. This is what our souls anciently know.
Honor this knowing today, tonight, tomorrow: Be Still: The Balance is Held. From here we see behind us and ahead with equal wisdom and grace…Bless this time and our eyes that can see. If we choose. Fill the space in between with Hope and great Thanks.
As within, so without.
A good day to look back over your month and consider the growing cycle, as well as mindfully tend what’s been active in Psyche all weekend long…
I am thinking about you, California, you used to make me feel brave.
I stopped on a side-road outside Santa Rosa to eat tacos. There was a sale on RedBull which is all I drank. It was after a weekend making love with a pot grower on a secret coast hidden by the North trees. We ate oysters and he took me to a place with caves and cliff-crag clearings where I could lay naked in the grass in the sun. I tucked wildflowers in my hair. I had to rearrange my living so I pulled off the Avenue into a little womb space where the pine needles lay and ensure no sound. I took everything out of the car and put it on the ground: Now, to clear out and remake my little house. When you live in your car and your home is the road there’s never any place you’ve got to go. There was a stretch of land on the Sonoma coast where the ancients used to talk in rock-tree language, clean as wave spray. I ran the 1 up and down. I was running from nothing, nothing to run to. Just the pure relationship between movement and the ground. I listened to the native speak. Oh land. You’ve always been my home.
You~you made me brave.
Remember when I used to be frightened of the sea? Not the mama prima, oh Atlantic, who raised me? But wild, thrashing Pacific, untamed, unknown one? This was up north, Goat Rock, where the froth was so spiteful it shook the beach with thunder sound. Now I bow at your feet, Sleepy Hollow, Thousand Steps, Crescent Bay, and move as breath does from the lungs into the autonomous air. Aqua green peace. I move into you, mama, with you. I hear no sound. I am no more separate from motion than stillness is.
On Tuesdays now I often take PCH home. The line of dusk on the horizon is dark blue or purple-orange. Coming down Macarthur near Fashion Island where the bunnies are in a circle for the Easter Parade. That is when you first see the sea. Catalina laid out like a woman on her back and I always catch my breath like she is me, like I am that breathless woman made ecstatic from the sea’s all the time covetous caress. When you see her lips part that is my moan. The line of palms on the Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar from that vantage look like giants at the foot of breathless woman. She gives her breath to the sea it helps her rise and fall through the respiration of the trees.
I open my sunroof because in the dark on Tuesday’s even if the clouds are out you can still feel the still simple breathing of the stars. I drove the coast and felt their light in my hair. I pulled over on Cliff Dr to feel the sliver moon. I called Jon then drove up in to the high canyon hills. The land ran through me with the tremor-weight of horse thighs. It was so much to contain in through the windows, in through the sunroof, crescent moon and all those hills, that I stopped the car and turned off my lights in the middle of the road. My breath was so thick with you I had to gasp.
California, I am thinking about courage. My body without you is brittle. My muscles barely move. I lay in bed and feel the stars still in my hair from the sunroof and can’t deny the truth in quiet, the truth behind your dark moon.