The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving overnight March 17th to 18th (exact at 3:17am ET on the 18th), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the March 2nd new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with The Tarot’s Moon card, invited us to make our way between the forces of certainty and uncertainty in our lives. 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 astro-Tarot correspondences align this full moon with The Hermit, the archetype of those who withdraw from the human world to commune in silence and solitude with the beyond-the-human world. Doing so they come to know their own inner world and wisdom.
Hermits are very much at home in the lunar realm, that path we’ve been walking since March 2nd. They’d be happy to continually commune with the moon, but there is a final step for them to fully live out their calling. Hermits must light their lantern and let it shine for others to see.
At the new moon, we centered ourselves in our core values and visions to help us walk the Moon’s path of shifting light. In the new moon post, I called these our “guiding light,” and connected it to the creation myth found in the Kabbalah in which the light from the beginning of the universe that God placed in vessels to be contained shatters them. Each one of us humans then comes to hold a piece of the shattered light.
For this Hermit-guided, full moon, I am thinking about the inner light of the Quaker tradition. The founder of Quakerism, George Fox, preached in the 17th century that silence and stillness help worshipers to perceive “that of God in everyone.” In the 20th century Quaker teacher and activist Rufus Jones spoke of an inner light, “something of God” that could be found within every human soul. While Quaker tradition and organizations are guided by shared values such as simplicity, integrity, equality, community, and peace, each Quaker’s action is guided by their direct encounter with the Divine. At Quaker meetings, those gathered sit in silence until moved to speak. It is not unheard of to have a service in which there is no speaking at all. The silence is the ministry of those gathered given each to the other
Quakers are famously pacifists, but they are not passive. Though most Quakers did not serve in the military during World II, for example, they were active in rescue efforts, working in French internment camps, hiding Jewish children, and assisting thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees with immigration and resettlement. Today Quakers decry the war in Ukraine, but call for diplomatic not military solutions.
Quaker positions are often counter to popular opinion, especially on matters of social justice where they have been “early adapters” of the abolition of slavery, sufferege for women, civil rights, and the use of non-violent direct action to bring about change. The inner light that they have attuned to through silence and stillness compels them to act in the outer world on what they have learned from their inner encounter with the Divine.
We began this lunar cycle tuning into our inner light. In this full moon time, we now are invited to find in that light the inspiration for actions to take or gifts to offer that are uniquely ours to do or make. These actions and gifts that we manifest will be our Hermit’s lantern shining out into the world.
The action or gift may or may not be large. The Hermit is associated with the astrological sign of Virgo who is all about the details. The action or gift may or may not not align with popular opinion. Innovation and early stages of change are often controversial or at first rejected. The action or gift doesn’t even have to be counted as successful.
Size, popular opinion, and success are the measurements of the outer world made at a particular time. But times change. Collective understanding shifts. Sometimes seeds are dormant until the right conditions emerge for growth.
Appraise your offering instead from the soul level, look with the eyes of the Hermit. Consider how closely the offering aligned with your core values and vision. Look for if the offering brought joy to you and/or others. Ponder how the offering served the ancestors. Perhaps wait to make an appraisal at all until 10 years from now when you will see from a longer perspective. Or leave the appraisal to those descendants coming in 100 years and just offer to the best of your ability now, trusting the guidance of the inner light.
To encourage a revelation on these themes as we journey through this moonthly cycle, 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. To draw upon the power of the connection between The Moon and the Hermit, you may want to use your imaginal senses to breathe the light of the moon into your body and let it find and feed the place in your body that holds your inner light. Imagine your inner light growing in size and/or strength until it floats just a few feet out from your body. Perhaps this light is like shifting clouds that you watch in delight for a while. You could invite the shifting to come into a form, perhaps it is a symbol or animal or a wisdom figure. Let yourself be with what emerges. Finally breathe the form back into your body. Be open to a message coming to you about what action or gift to take in the weeks to come.
~ 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 Moon and Hermit 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 make space for solitude in my life? What light is uniquely mine to bring into the world? What gift can I bring out of this light? How am I being called to act? What vision can I make real? What is the next step to take to make that vision real? 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 during the last days of March. offer your gift to the world.