Full Moon Revelations: Strength to look into the mouth of The Devil


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

The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving on Thursday, January 25th (exact at 12:54pm, time zone converter), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the January 11th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with The Devil, 4 of Pentacles, and King of Swords, invited us to protect what is most important. Out of a 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 Strength.  

At the top of many Strength images are two equal-sized and connected ellipses known as the lemniscate, a symbol for infinity. This abstract symbol that comes to us from mathematics is embodied in figures below it: traditionally a woman and often a lion, though snakes and bears also appear. All of these animals are fierce. They are animals that stir up our primal fears. The lemniscate guides us into relationship with them.

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

These animals of Strength are so very like The Devil that this lunar alignment has me imagining the woman holding open the Devil’s mouth, which strikes me as quite an intimate act.

A message flowing from this full moon is that we have the Strength we need to be intimate with the Devil.

At the new moon, I wrote about the Devil as the shadow parts we—as individuals, communities, and societies—have difficulty accepting, both the negative and the positive. These are parts that we want to push away.

But at this full moon we are invited to consider what it would be like to instead of pushing away, we embrace these rejected parts of ourselves. Imagine taking our Devil parts into our arms to be soothed. 

Soothing is not placating or giving into the symptomatic acting out of this bedeviled part. Soothing is accepting what is. Then listening into the source of need or pain and holding that with compassion.

Compassion can bring the calm and from the calm can flow the true desire that was unmet and so brought forth the Devil. That need for a drink or a drug could be the desire for connection to the Divine, for ecstasy. That scrolling through social media could be your longing for community. Fighting against looking at the genocidal impacts of yesterday in the settling of the United States or today in the war on Palestinians waged with US bombs could be wanting to be proud of the country in which we live.

With Strength as the model, we can show compassion for our symptoms and begin to find our way toward meeting the deep desires in ways that work better for us and the world. We can be the weirdos who dance around trees in nature, gather with other geeks, or look foolish in the eyes of the powers that be as we over and over again call our legislators or take over the streets in actions to create the world of democratic practice, community, and passion that we want to live in.

This January’s Devil-Strength alignment is a less usual one. Devil new moons most often have a full moon encounter with the Chariot while Strength shinies itself in a Star moonth. So these days around the full moon are good ones to let the full moon light fill you with Strength to see the Devil with new eyes. And with this clarified view, liberate our Devils’ energies for our transformation and the world’s.

To encourage a revelation on these themes as we continue journeying 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.
~ 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 Devil and Strength 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: What are the deeper messages of the bedeviled parts of me? How to cultivate the strength to engage with these bedeviled parts? How will I be changed by working with these bedeviled parts? How can the world be changed by me engaging with my bedeviled parts? 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 February 7th, offer your gift to the world.

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