The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving overnight tonight, the 15th to the 16th (exact at 12:14am ET on the 16th), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the April 30th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with the Teacher face of the Hierophant invited us to expand our understanding of who our teachers are. Out of our full moon revelations about this developing energy, we are issued an invitation to return a gift to the world in the final weeks of the lunar cycle.
The exact moment of the moon’s fullness comes in the sign of Scorpio associated with the Tarot’s Death card. As I wisdom wandered through the last few weeks, I encountered a tiny but powerful teacher in a spring ephemeral with a message about Death. Here is the story.
Wandering along the Mill River pathway, I encountered my first flowering Trout Lilies of the season. They raised their yellow petals just above the dead leaf litter on a turning of the path. I paused, then pulled from my notebook one of the handful of Tarot cards I carried.
The Ancestor emerged and I felt a wave of that deepest kind of knowing wash over me. Of course, the Ancestor who has traveled through Death is the mirror to this miracle of a spring’s flowering. All life today comes from a passing away of what has come before. The dead leaves become the soil. The soil is the breakdown of all plants and animals, even us humans in our bones and ash, the flesh released. The release from one form is the beginning of becoming another.
And here were the Ancestors shape shifting into Trout Lilies. I stood in the circle of their power.
The specific Tarot card I drew was from the Minoan Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. It is number 13 of the Major Arcana, usually named Death. In this version of the card the connection between the living and the dead is highlighted. The living descendant is shown as a small figure raising up a bowl in offering to the larger figure of the Ancestor.
Ellen describes the ritual depicted as “seeking to bridge the gap of silence and of breath, and the gap between glory and grief.” She says of the Ancestors, “If they would speak, one could learn the reality of the past, and understand how to better live in the present.”
Standing in their presence, I felt the Ancestors were speaking through the flowering of the Trout Lilies. What were they saying? Before I tell you my thoughts, pause and think about what you see in this image of flower and card and leaf. What might the ancestors be saying to you?
What I “heard” was:
Rise up out of what is dying in your world—because Death is always happening—and dare to work to make it beautiful.
Ellen has also offered wonderful wisdom on Love. In the voice of Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love and Beauty, she tells us, “Love is power made beautiful.”
Trout Lilies would seem to have very little power. They rise just a few inches from earth and live for only a few days. But their power is awesome, they take death, re-shape it, and make it beautiful.
Our world is breaking apart. The rubble, real and symbolic, is the leaf litter in which we stand. But the Ancestors implore us still to rise, take the rubble, re-make it into beauty.
This one example of the experiences I have when wisdom wandering. If you’d like a container of support for finding your own revelations in the meeting and mixing of the natural world and divinatory tools, you are invited to Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. We’ll be wandering, connecting to nature, divining, and herb crafting in the places where we live. Then gather virtually for ritual and sharing our experiences. The retreat runs for 6 weeks from Sunday, May 23rd to Friday, July 1.
In this 6 year (2+0+2+2=6 which is the number of the Lovers in the Tarot’s Major Arcana), our guide for the season is Love in all its forms and phases. Find out more and register on the overview page.
To encourage revelation about this moonth’s themes, you are invited to one, some, or all of these practices:
~ Moon bathe by sitting or lying under a window or outside on the ground. Let go of your thoughts and soak in the light.
~ Take out any reading or your reflections from the new moon and look at them in a new light. How does your understanding of the cards shift now that time has passed and light has shifted? (If you haven’t done a reading yet, no problem, just do it now under the light of the full moon. You can trythe one from the new moon.)
~ Bring out your Hierophant/Teacher and Death cards from your Tarot deck and connect them to your new moon reading / reflections. You could place/imagine these cards on either side of your reading or above and below, and then look at how they add meaning into the story your original cards offered you.
~ Reflect on questions such as: What does Death have to teach me? How can I bring Life out of Death? Who/what can be my teacher of the Death to Life transformation? What teachings are my ancestors offering me? How can I open to receive their message? How can I act on their message? You could, of course, pull cards as responses to any of these questions. You may want to engage in Visio Divina to find the layers of wisdom within the cards.
When you are done, remember to offer gratitude for what you have received. Consider what gift you now want to return to the world. Pulling a card for guidance on the gift is always a fine thing to do. In the coming weeks and before the moon returns to dark around May 27th offer your gift to the world.