New Moon Gateway: Composting the Burdens


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

Well, here we are again.

a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley and retrieved from Sacred Texts. Deck available from US Games

This new moon passage through the 10 of Wands holds up a mirror to our times. I first wrote about this decan of the year’ turning wheel in 2020 when we were slogging through the pandemic. While we may have experienced joy along the way, the years since have given us plenty more slogging. Institutional breakdown, climate chaos, and the wars—the terrible wars—are challenging our resilience and persistence. There is plenty to be weary of as we head toward the finish line of the year.

The new moon (exact on Tuesday, the 12th at 6:32 pm ET, time zone converter) affirms these feelings and the reality out of which they grow. This lunar passage allows us to lean into this difficult now like that figure carrying all those damn wands.

We lean into them because we can’t just put some burdens down. Our responsibilities as parents, neighbors, citizens, or just as human beings call us to act. We didn’t choose these burdens, but real responsibilities keep us from walking away.

But because the path we are on this moonth is the path of Temperance, we are offered the possibility of changing these burdens into a new form. Once re-shaped these burdens may be better held and perhaps the weight distributed and shared with others.

From the Numinous Tarot 

On the Temperance path, we combine things that appear to be opposites (light and dark, life and death, exhaustion and energy, intuition and intellect) into something that integrates rather than rejects the opposing forces from which it springs. Temperance brings the opposites together in a new Whole. This card is sometimes renamed Alchemy to connect it to the pursuit of transforming base metals like lead into more precious ones of silver and gold. Medieval alchemists engaged in actual experiments that gave rise to chemistry, but their greater work may have had a spiritual focus with the goal of transforming their souls.

How can we do this great work? The 3rd of our moonthly cards offers us a role model. The Queen of Pentacles is a master crafter of the element of earth. Another name for them might be Gardener.

From The Next World Tarot (Out of Print, but I found a copy at a local store!)

Gardeners are composters. They see waste and dead plants and think, “Goody, I can use this to grow my next garden.” Crap becomes their gold. The “burden” of cleaning up the garden in late fall brings forth a vision of what next year’s vision will become.

Vision is the thread that runs through these cards. Look back at our burdensome 10 of Wands and see the detail in the right-hand corner. It’s a beautiful house, the edge of a village, the place the figure seeks. The figure is compelled by this destination to keep moving. What compels you to keep moving through this year even when you’d rather go back to bed and pull up the covers?

In the Numinous Tarot, the alchemists work with closed eyes as if dreaming. What they are creating has never existed before so they rely on their inner, imaginal eyes to show them what can emerge from the separate—perhaps broken—parts. They hear people say their vision is impossible but know that is true of everything that is. The dream is the seed of the real. What is your highest / deepest dream planted in the dirt and dark of this year?

The gardeners remind us that vision is built from the small details into the big picture. They look at the image of the garden to come and lay out the steps for how to get there. They work the compost into the soil, knowing the past passing is needed to nurture the new. They plant the seed when the conditions are right. They protect the new shoots as needed. They keep watering and waiting for the full fruition. While they are patient, they are also constant in their work. What inspires you so much that you are willing to wait for its emergence?

Along with the questions above, reading and reflection of the moonth is offered to support steady shapeshifting progress toward your vision:

VISION: What stronger, better, more powerful thing can emerge out of the dirt and dark of this year?

RESHAPING: What can be reshaped in my life to release new energy for moving toward this vision?

NEXT STEP: What one step can I take slowly and steadily toward the vision during this moonth? 

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $32.  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.


I also have a few seasonal prompts and reminders:

Ideas for Celebrating the Solstice –  I offer six celebratory ideas plus a practice of lament for tending to any personal sorrow or collective horror that might be on your heart.

The Shining Tribe Exploratorium Solstice Sessions are December 13th and 27th – You are invited to join our exploring. You don’t have to have done past sessions to sign up for these. We will be focused on how the Shadow Woman of Justice flows into the Shining Woman through the 2nd half of the Major Arcana and integrating these ideas into our Solstice ritual. The session starts at 2:30 pm ET (time zone converter) and will be recorded for those who can’t be on live.

Descent and Return of the Light – This week are tending to our one candle ritual as we reflect and release to prepare for the Solstice. You are invited to join for this final days of Waiting with the Dark. On January 1, we start the four weeks of Tending the Returning Light.

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