New Moon Initiation: The Way of Imagination


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

The arrival of the new moon stamps the moonth with an initiating energy that shifts and develops through a cycle of growth, fullness, and descent.  Each moonth I look to the Tarot’s astrological correspondences for the new moon to find 3 cards (a Major, a numbered Minor, and a court/people card) to guide musings on soul tending, selection of prompts for personal/spiritual practice, and creation of a moonthly reading. The reading can be done any time, but ideally between the new and full moons. Revisit the cards you pull periodically up until the next lunation to gain new insight as the light changes. This new moon arrives overnight Sunday into Monday (exact on the 20th at 2:06am ET, time zone converter). The full moon arrives on March 7th to bring a revelation about how the energies are developing within you. 

In the iconic Rider Waite Smith Moon image a lobster rises from the sea where it has been walking the ocean floor’s dark depths. Its claws reach toward a golden path leading to the mountains. To reach the end of the journey, the tiny creature will have to pass by obstacles – the howling dog and wolf – and through a strange landscape – rolling hills as blue as the sea support twin doorless towers. Above the moon shines as brightly as the sun. These incongruous elements give the feeling of a dream. Meaning can’t be made with the rational mind about what is happening here. We are in the realm of the emotional, otherworldly, and unconscious. We’ll have to use our intuition as we travel the Moon’s path.

The Haindl Tarot’s Moon draws us even more deeply into the dream of this archetype. There’s a lobster here, too, and a path out of the sea. The path is not golden but watery and flows toward a unicorn with an enormous horn.

While the unicorn may be based on an actual animal – the extinct aurochs? – they exist today only because of imagination: our human ability to form images and concepts that are actually not present to the senses or exist in physical form. Our imaginations have imbued the unicorn with many meanings over the centuries.

Today pink sparkly unicorns are ubiquitous in cartoons and on children’s sneakers. But in centuries past the unicorn was a symbol of sacrifice. In European medieval tapestries of the nobility, the hunted unicorn represented Jesus Christ giving his life to protect the virgin maiden. As a symbol, the unicorn holds both delight and sacrifice, exists in both commercial and creative spheres.

The Haindl’s unicorn undertakes an impossible feat: birthing itself out of ancient rock. The powerful horn extends beyond the image’s edge, breaking through into the beyond. When we take this unicorn as our wisdom guide, we are invited to break through to the:

~ Impossible. Because most of what now exists was once thought to be impossible from social security to hand-held computers (i.e. our cell phones!); from women’s suffrage to same-sex marriage; from anything you have created to relationships with your choosen beloveds. What is your dream – a woman president, the Green New Deal, having time amidst your responsibilities to tackle your passion project? When someone tells you that’s impossible, you can smile because that means it is on the way.

~ Invisible. Because there is a realm beyond that we cannot see. We all conceive of, and make our connections to, this realm differently. You may know this as the place of ancestors, beloved dead, spirits, saints, or ley lines. None can be seen, but all offer support to us for walking the paths of our lives.

~ Greater Than that goes by many names. Goddess, God, Holy One, Universal Energy, the One that Holds the Whole are just a few.

With breakthroughs of the imagination the way opens for the unreal to become real.

When we embrace the images, messages, and possibilities flowing from our imagination, our perspective on the world changes. What we were satisfied with before may no longer be large enough now. We may be called to move in a new direction. This is what happens when we walk the Moon path through the Eight of Cups. 

In the Tarot of the Moors’ Eight of Cups, a figure walks along the edge of a desert dune away from eight small cups and toward a deep blue sky filled with a star constellation, the planet Saturn, and a full well of water. The contents of the eight cups may have once satisfied and in a desert environment the certainty of water is not to be left behind lightly. But the stars are guiding the figure toward the well, a source of new and deeper refreshment.

It is an act of imagination and trust to move away from what is known to go toward the unknown.

Our guide for taking this leap of imagination is The Knight of Cups.

All knights are devoted to a cause that is greater than themselves. The Tarot’s knights serve and seek to expand the gifts of their element. The suit of Cups associated with the element of water offers us emotional range, creative connection, intuitive wisdom, and Love.

Yes, these knights are dreamers, but they also take the action to make the dream real. They may create art in the form of poems or dance or song. Perhaps they offer healing practices to those in the stress of uncertainty, or facilitate meetings where all ideas and emotions are expressed. When they are at their best, they have a knack for bringing the flow of emotions and intuition into an expression that supports the emotional and psychic wellbeing of others.

Yes, these Knights are lovers with a romantic streak, but their love does not have to be limited to a romantic partner. Their watery, expansive selves feel the connection to even those they do not know. They do know that to love is to act for the good of the Whole.

From Mass Tarot‘s 2015 Collaborative Deck

This knight invites us to follow our path and practices with attitudes that support being in the flow of life while letting go of the need to control what is happening. Following their example, we come to know that relinquishing control is not a passive activity, but rather a different, more aligned way of engaging with the world as it is. The poet Rilke describes it as “no forcing, no holding back.”

When we find this right balance between action and surrender, we are better able to ride on the wild waves of our emotions, our daily life, and any chaos that comes toward us. Our trust in self and world is strengthened, not because everything turns out the way we want but because we find we can move through the challenges that come our way.

Reflection Questions / Reading of the Moonth

These questions are offered for reflection and to spark practice throughout the moonth. Pulling Tarot and oracle cards in connection to these questions is appropriate, but not absolutely necessary. You might carry a question with you on a walk for example and observe what is happening in the natural world as a way to find insight into the answer to the question. You might carry cards pulled, too, and see what they want to interact with in the world.

IMAGINATION: What wants to emerge from my imagination?

NEW DIRECTION: What new direction does my imagination invite me to explore? 

ACTION: How to embrace and act on the imaginative flow of the moonth?

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23.  Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check. When I receive notification, I’ll be in touch to let you know about when to expect to receive your reading by email. I generally have openings to do these readings on Mondays and Saturdays.

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