Full Moon Revelations: Temperance Encounters the Lovers


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary

The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving overnight Saturday into Sunday (exact at 11:35am ET on the 18th), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the December 4th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with Temperance, 9 of Wands, and the Knight of Wands, invited us to begin again despite challenges. 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 Gemini associated with the Tarot’s Lovers. When Temperance encounters the Lovers shining in the moonlight, a new consciousness about how love is created, tempered, and transformed as well as from where it springs may emerge. 

Playing with the numbers associated with these cards makes an interesting connection appropriate to the timing of this full moon so close to the Winter Solstice for us here in the Northern Hemisphere. Temperance’s 14 added to the Lover’s 6 = Awakening’s 20.

In the Gaian Tarot’s Awakening, a dark figure stands open-hearted before the Divine above the dark passage into Ireland’s Neolithic mound at Newgrange, the best known monument in a complex of burial and astrological sacred sites known as Brú na Bóinne, home to the Celtic God of Love and Dreams Aengus.

Most of the year Newgrange’s interior lies in darkness, but on Winter Solstice morning a roof box at the entrance is arranged such that the rising sun is channeled to flood its passageway and chambers in light for 17 minutes.

In these moments, Dark and Light mix together. I imagine they rise and fall exuberantly like long separated lovers to conceive the next spiral of the world’s becoming. Dark and Light each need moments of their own fullness, but then their reunion on the Solstice creates that generative energy that the Italian poet Dante named so beautifully as the “love that moves the sun and other stars.”

The Dark does not actually birth the Light. The Dark and the Light – after times of separation –  come together to conceive and birth Love. They begin a partnership of nurturance to bestow on Love their own best qualities that might be named as: intimacy, mystery, surrender, passion, growth, and joy. The inheritance of Love is both Dark and Light.

These full moon nights right before the Solstice comes on Tuesday, the 21st, are rather like the note or text of the Light as the Dark’s lover on their way home and saying, “I’m coming back. I can’t wait to see you. Soon we’ll be together again.”

The reunion of Light and Dark is a potent time for rituals to invite re-birth or to invite guidance for what to focus on in the coming year. Here in Soul Path Sanctuary, we seek out a Solstice Seed of the New image at Solsticetide. Then in January we have a first encounter with the Seed as we tend the returning light during the e-retreat Descent and Return of the Light. You are invited to join in and begin your year with rituals and supports for soul tending and finding focus.

But before we rush into the new year, these full moon nights want to offer you a revelation about love and how to best continue your  journey through this moonthly cycle. To encourage the revelation, 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 try the one from the new moon.)
  • Bring out your Temperance and Lovers cards from your Tarot deck and connect them to any 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 is love calling me to? How is my love fed by the dark? What light does my love bring into the world? How can I strengthen my love? How can I bring more love into the world? 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 December 30th offer your gift to the world.

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