The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving on Sunday, the 22nd (exact at 8:01am ET), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the August 8th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with Strength, the 6 of Trees, and the Speaker of Trees, invited us to cultivate the strength to sing even in challenging times. Out of the full moon revelation 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 Aquarius associated with the Tarot’s Star. This is the second full moon associated with the Star—the first on July 23rd was in the earliest moments of our trip through Aquarius and this full moon will be in the very last moments. Our extended encounter with the Star invites us to reach even higher and dig even deeper into the wisdom this archetype offers us.
Since the Shining Tribe Tarot is our inspiration this lunation, The Star figure we encounter is Persephone, the Greek Goddess whose mother Demeter is the Grain Goddess, the giver of Life, and whose husband Hades is the ruler of Death. Persephone is intensely connected to both Life and Death. She cannot choose between them, but instead lives between them by spending part of the year with her mother and the rest with her husband and the dead that she serves as Queen. She is the traveler between the worlds, and as I’ve written extensively elsewhere can even serve as a messenger connecting us living with our beloved dead.
Thursday evening before I went to bed I was contemplating these themes and overnight I had this dream:
I am sitting in a VW Bug, one of the classic 1960s models with two doors. Outside I see a rather gray landscape. Not an immediate storm, but maybe in the aftermath. There is a shadowy figure off in the distance that I am suspicious of. I want to take a nap so to protect myself I have to lock the doors. I depress the lock button on the first door and then test to make sure it has taken hold. It hasn’t. I have to try again and this time I secure the door. I am able to lock the other door, too, and start to drift off to sleep. Still in the dream, I wake up to find one door opening, but it is not anyone to be afraid of. It is my beloved friend Chris who died in June of 2020. She smiles and I smile.
I was delighted to have this first dream visitation from Chris. I immediately thought of how I had locked the doors, but that didn’t stop her from entering. Fortunately, our beloved dead are persistent in contacting us even when we put up barriers.
Then as I wrote this post and was thinking of Chris, I remembered that she was a healer, a nurse. She worked in the maternity ward ushering new life into the world. An idea washed over me: the dead want to help us to birth new life out of all the death we are experiencing at this time. Having traveled from Life into Death, they know how to make a great transition, to surrender familiar forms like the body, to shape shift into something new. I imagine they see us struggling with the changes we must make to confront the climate crisis, bring an end to war, organize our institutions around empathy instead of power and greed. So they break through the barriers we have set up against them to be with us.
I am inspired by this possibility (regular readers will know it is one I have been feeling and writing about for years now), and then a part of me asks: But what does it mean we should do?!
There certainly is much to do, but to ensure our doing is what is most powerful and centered we might pause in the full moon moments of the Star to receive the wisdom, help, and love of our beloved dead.
Traditionally, The Star is a card of pausing and simply being open to the grace and gifts of the universe that come freely and equally to all. In the pause, perhaps the energy of the beloved dead will flow through us. In time we might find that we have become conduits for their wisdom on making transitions. Then their wisdom and energy become part of us and guide our action in the living world for change making. We could then be in a new kind of partnership that leads to still barely imagined possibilities.
We could become like Persephone meeting both Life and Death with Love.
To encourage a revelation on these Star 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. (If you live in the Northeast, your moon view most likely will be hidden by a storm. Moon bathe only where you won’t blow or float away! To those in the West, moon bathe where you won’t overheat or burn. I wish we could send you some of our water from the Northeast. Everyone everywhere please be safe!)
- 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 try the one from the new moon.)
- Bring out your Strength and Star 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: How can I create places of pause in my life for listening to the Greater Than? How can I connect to my beloved dead? What message do they want to give me? How can I be a conduit of Love? How can I help bring new Life into our times of great Death? 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 September 4th offer your gift to the world.