Oct
19
2021

Full Moon Revelations: Structures to Hold Our Power

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

The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving on Wednesday, the 20th (exact at 10:57am ET), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the October 6th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with Justice, the 3 of Swords, and Queen of Swords, invited us to truth telling and the healing potential of flowing grief. 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 moon moves toward fullness through the sign of Aries associated with the Tarot’s 4th Major Arcana, the Emperor, and arrives on a day associated with the 4 of Wands/Fire. The truth telling and grief releasing that spilled out of the new moon now encounters the organizing and structuring energy of the Tarot’s fours.

The Gaian Tarot’s Four of Fire shows us ritual as an organizing structure to hold the power of truth and grief. The structure suggested is …

  • circular (the candle circle creates sacred space),
  • natural (the figures feet have become part of the earth);
  • and cultivates lunar vision—the kind of vision that sees the brush of light over the darkened world to illuminate the mystery, magic, fantastic under the surface. There is potential there even if it is hard to see with solar eyes.

Supported by such a structure and the sight it encourages, our truth telling becomes more grounded and perhaps complex. Paradox is allowed and also compassion. Still the heart remains a dragon protective of the shining humanity of each and everyone. All while standing within our own power.

And our grief becomes compost. We empty the pain out into the earth which accepts all and shapeshifts it into the new. Our grief becomes moonlight, the light that lives alongside the dark, that respects the dark, that becomes love in the dark.

Stepping into the organizing structure of the Four of Fire on a full moon night, we inhabit the archetype of the Emperor, who in their most positive potential, is one who leads through serving. In the Tarot of the Crone, deck creator Ellen Lorenzi-Prince speaks these words to those who would be Emperors:

If you think

Your life matters

You’re wrong

What matters

Is the Great Plan

What matters

Is how you may serve

With our solar eyes we might see the image’s towering obelisk as The Emperor, but with our eyes adjusted to lunar looking we recognize the obelisk’s foundation is the people below. Without a foundation the obelisk would collapse.

Perhaps on this full moon night, Emperors will hear the call: Act in service to your people or see your power collapse. 

Perhaps on this full moon night the people will hear the call: Recognize the power in your hands held out to others. Join hands and make power bow to justice. 

To encourage a revelation on truth telling, justice, and power as we continue 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.)
  • Make a healing tea with herbs associated with this lunar cycle for The Herbcrafter Tarot: Echinacea for Three of Swords/Air (decand of the new moon) and Elder for Four of Wands/Fire (decand of the full moon). As always, appreciation to Yesbelt of Yes Spiral for being my tea mentor. Oh and who would remind me that this brew is technically a tisane because it is herbal rather than made from black tea leaves.)
  • Bring out your Justice and Emperor 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 structures (i.e. habits, rituals, mindsets) can support me to … be a truth teller… move through grief …. and/or cultivate my power? What challenge in my life do I need to take into the dark to see anew? What is the source of my power? How can I be of service? 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 November 2 offer your gift to the world.

 

Oct
11
2021

Myths and Secret Stories: Indigenous Peoples Day Reflection

Justice

Reflections written on this first Indigenous Peoples Day in Easthampton, MA where I live. 

As a product of the Massachusetts public schools of the 1970s, I am shaped by the myths of the state’s history, perhaps most especially its founding. I learned about the Pilgrims escaping religious persecution arriving in Massachusetts and after a difficult winter being added by the Indians to learn how to grow crops in this new world. The first fall there was a Thanksgiving feast, and Squanto, who taught them how to plant corn, seems to have been the guest of honor. There are other Indians beside Squanto in pictures of this Thanksgiving feast, but because I didn’t learn their names they didn’t make much of an impression on my young mind. 

After Squanto, Indians seem to disappear from the history I learn about Massachusetts—or I didn’t pay much attention to where they do. My textbooks jump quickly from Thanksgiving to the American Revolution. After the Revolution, there is the settingling of the West and I learn about the Plains Indians and the conflicts in those far away places. But the Indigenous people of Massachusetts are gone from the story. I didn’t choose this story, but still it directs my awareness in conscious and unconscious ways. With this story directing me, I don’t have to grapple with how land that didn’t belong to the Pilgrims became the state I live in or the homes my family and I have owned. I didn’t have to wonder what happened to the nameless Indians at the Thanksgiving feast.

But starting in 2014— and in large part  from history I was exposed to working at Mass Humanities—I have learned that despite attempts to exterminate, displace, and erase them the Indigenous people of Massachusetts have remained, resisted, and preserved by:

  • The Wampanoag have continuously inhabited Aquinnah on Noepe (Martha’s Vineyard). They have reclaimed their language that had for 150 years not had native speakers and are educating a generation of native speakers through the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project
  • In 1833 the Mashpee Indians submitted an Indian Declaration of Independence to the Governor to resist encouragement on their land, writing that they would not “permit any white man to come upon our plantation to cut or carry our wood or hay . . . without our permission.” The declaration led to the Mashpee regaining the right to govern themselves rather than be supervised by white outsiders.
  • The Nipmuc Nation have continuously inhabited land in the central and western part of the state including the Hassanamisco Reservation in Grafton that is their ancestral home. 
  • The Nolumbeka Project protects sacred sites and has created a Heritage Three Sisters Circle Garden on projected land in the Connecticut River Valley.
  • The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican may now be living in Wisconsin, but they still call the Berkshires home

So myths like Indians being “gone” are dangerous, but because they are out in the open can be dispelled.  

But more insidious and corrosive may be the papered-over and buried stories. The stories that are taboo because their truth doesn’t fit the simplistic, untroubling narrative being offered.

The Pilgrims first encounter with the Wampanoag is such a story. (David Silverman’s This Land is Their Land is the source for the history I am summarizing. For the full details, do check out this book.)

The first encounter was not a direct encounter. In November 1620 the Mayflower landed at what is now known as Provincetown Harbor. The Wampanoag did not winter on the Cape and had left their summer villages to head inland. The Pilgrims entered these villages and one of the first things they did was dig up and take stockpiles of corn left for the next season’s planting.

We modern viewers looking back on the Pilgrim’s theft are rightly appalled by this. We want to disassociate ourselves from their actions. But I can’t make them totally Other. Because I am shaped by the founding myth with them at center, they are in my head. They could even be in my DNA. At least one of my six grandparents (adoption accounts for the extra set) descended, if not from this original band of Pilgrims, those who came soon after. 

So I didn’t take the corn, but maybe I am alive today because of one of my forebears ate it that first difficult winter. The corn connects me to the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags from whom it was stolen. Recognizing this connection I can then choose to be part of the repair and return of what was stolen. The historian Aurora Levins Morales in her book Medicine Stories offers this provocative way of thinking about our problematic ancestors and our relationship to them:

For people committed to liberation to claim descent from the perpetrators is a renewal of faith in human beings. If slavers, invaders, committers of genocide, inquisitors can beget abolitionists, resistance fighters, healers, community builders, then anyone can transform an inheritance of privilege or of victimization into something more fertile than either.

A foundation for the repair doesn’t even require action. It requires us just to stop taking what doesn’t belong to us. We’ve taken and continue to take Indigenous peoples’ corn, land, children, sacred places, culture, spirituality … it’s a long list. This is not history past, but present day. Today, for one example, we white people feel and act like we are entitled to access Indigenous spiritual beliefs and practices as well as enter into their sacred places when and how we want to. After we stop actively taking, Indigenous artist and activist Lyla June suggested a next step at a White Awake training for becoming an ally or accomplice is to ask Indigenous people/organizations/tribal groups: “What, if anything, would you like me to do?” (Since this I’m writing the on Indigenous Peoples Day, an action that Indigenous activists in Massachusetts are asking for is that the whole state replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as one of five legislative goals. All the goals and specific actions are here. We can also answer calls to support native activists working to protect water, the land, and to stop pipelines across the whole country.)

I’ve saved the worst for last of these buried stories. The very first thing the Pilgrims did—even before they looted the corn—was desecrate the graves that they discovered at the Wampanoag’s summer villages. They do not give a reason for doing this in their writings. To grapple with this disgrace, we could try to imagine that it wasn’t their intent to dishonor and violate one of the most sacred acts of any people: tending to their dead. But intent doesn’t matter to the one who is impacted. Impact is what must be acknowledged not intent. 

Mistreatment of the indigenous dead becomes a continuous thread through Massachusetts history and a weapon of control and attempted erasure:

  • Metacomet and Weetamoo—leaders of King Philip’s War/Metacomet’s Rebellion— are beheaded and their heads left on spikes at the end of the deadly conflict. (There is so much more to this history that you can find in Lisa Brooks’ Our Beloved Kin.)
  • In Massachusetts and throughout New England, indigenous peoples who died in the 19th century were eulogized as the last of their people, including even engraving this on to their tombstones, despite their having families and tribal groups defining membership with their own criteria (This is attempted erasure and denial of modernity are covered in detail in Jean O’Brien’s Firsting and Lastings.)
  • Keeping the remains and burial goods of Indigenous peoples in museums despite the calls by native peoples to have their ancestors returned to them. But on a note of hope, in 2017 the Wampanoag were successful in having the remains of the sachem Ousamequin returned to them to be returned to their original burial site. Ousamequin is the sachem who made the first treaty with the Pilgrims and allowed them to begin settlement.

This is a horrifying history of trauma, but we can only move through it by acknowledging it. Secrets and hidden histories will assert themselves in explosive ways if not attended to.

There is one final part of the story that I am looking to as a guide for moving through. This is the story of one of the graves the Pilgrims dug up. This person in it appears to have been a European, a man buried with a sailor’s canvas cassock and still showing blond hair. Perhaps he was a shipwrecked sailor or left behind from one of the exploring expeditions sent from Europe. He was buried with a child and grave goods to assist in rebirth in the afterlife. It seems that had a son with one of the Wampanoag women. It seems that he became enough part of the community to have a traditional burial. 

For this European to have been accepted into the community, he had to orient to the customs, traditions, language, and systems of the Wampanoag. He’d have learned that his European ways were not the only ways to live by. He may not have given up his beliefs or ways, but he learned to live by the Wampanoag’s. He must have made mistakes and so also made amends. He must have responded to prompts, requests, or demands about what contribution he could make to be part of the community.

This figure long hidden from history offers a glimmer of hope from that past for us white people that we can behave differently, that we can learn to live as equals in the multi-racial democracy that I see as the most inspiring vision—if yet to be realized and now very much under attack—of what the United States can be. He guides us to see our beliefs and systems as just one of many, to be curious about other ways of being in community. To change how we live in order to be part of a larger community. And as we do, to accept—to expect!—that we will make mistakes, but know that we can make amends. And once we’ve worked actively to make amends to be patient—we’ve 500+ years of making mistakes and so much worse—and while we wait to keep doing what we can do to be part of the work of repair rather than destruction. 

The stories that have been kept secret are surfacing now. It’s time to listen to and learn from them. I’ll end with the words Lisa Brooks offers in Our Beloved Kin after she describes the death of Weetamoo and the search for the place where it occurred, the Quequechand River, now Fall River: 

Walking through Fall River today, Quequechand is nearly impossible to find. Yet that water has a memory of falling, an overpowering resonance. Today, you can find the river only in the sound of its name. The story, too, is just a trickle, lying beneath hundreds of years of print. Yet water has its own mind, its own course to take. Despite all efforts to dam and control it, it can not be contained.

 

Oct
6
2021

Moonthly Musings & Reading: The mind meets the heart for healing

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

A new moon arrives today/Wednesday, October 6th (exact at 7:05am ET) inviting us to travel the pathway of Justice by passing through the pierced heart of the Three of Swords.

The aspect of Justice these initiating energies call us to this moonth is truth telling. An inspiring guide for this work is Sojourner Truth who represents Justice in the Pentimento Tarot. In iconic images from the 17th century to today, Justice’s truth is represented with a sword, but Sojourner Truth’s sword is her own voice.

Born an enslaved person in New York state in 1797, she liberated herself from her master and then sued to free her son who had been illegally sold to a plantation in Alabama. She was the first black woman to win a legal case in the United States. In 1851 at the Women’s Rights Convention held in Akron, Ohio, Truth delivered not only her most famous speech but also one of the most important of the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. Popularly known as the “Ain’t I a Woman” speech, this southern-sounding phrase was unlikely to reflect Truth’s real language and cadence, but the ideas are clearly hers:

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

Truth states what is apparent but not acknowledged because it challenges the status quo and systems of power. Today we hear echoes of Truth in:

  • ​​Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower whose documents show Facebook choosing profit over public safety by promoting the most incendiary posts and images harmful to young girls.

  • Greta Thunberg, Adriana Calderón, Farzana Faruk Jhumu and Eric Njuguna who are pointing us to the reality that all can see: climate change is here and it is a code red for humanity.

  • Mothers of the Movement who speak and share their grief about their African American children being killed by the police and gun violence.

The truths told by these 3 people / groups bring us to our passage through the Three of Swords.

Most people receiving the iconic Three of Swords card with its pierced heart under a rainy sky are dismayed. It’s one of those cards labeled as “bad” and to be avoided, but I find it to be one of—if not the most—healing cards in the deck. 

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

The suit of Swords association with the element of air connects it to the workings of the mind, the power of the intellect, and the analysis of the rational. It is with the mind we perceive the difficult truths of our lives and in the world. Only once the truth is acknowledged in the mind, can it be brought to the heart for healing. 

In the image, the rain is suggestive of tears. Tears can make people uncomfortable. Some so much so they want the tears to stop, but the tears are not the source of the pain. The tears instead are a healthy release value for the emotion built up inside by recognition of the truth. The tears are a release that is healthy for the heart. The tears help others to see and acknowledge the sorrow and grief. Tears others see help private pain to be collectively held.

Tears express a literal release of pain, and also serve as a symbol for different kinds of release. As we walk the path of Justice this moonth attending to truths both painful and pleasurable in our own and collective lives, we may find it supportive to do a practice consistently that connects heart and mind such as journaling. 

In Writing as a Way of Healing, Louise DeSalvo describes the kind of journaling that leads to real release as writing that combines detailed description of troubling events with writing about the feelings flowing from the events. Here we see the combination of truth telling by the mind (the detailed description of what happened) with the work of the heart (naming the feelings). Here are a few examples of her 14 Do’s and Don’t for the practice:

Do’s

  • Write about issues you’re currently living with, something you’re thinking or dreaming about constantly, a trauma you’ve never disclosed or discussed or resolved.

  • Write about what happened. Write, too, about feelings about what happened. What do you feel? Why do you feel this way? Link events with feelings.

  • Expect, initially, that in writing in this way you will have complex and appropriately difficult feelings. Make sure you get support if you need to.

Don’ts

  • Don’t use writing as a way of complaining. Use it, instead, to discover how and why you feel as you do. Simply complaining or venting will probably make you feel worse.

DeSalvo’s process is inspired by the work of academic James Pennebaker whose research found that just 4 days of regular writing for just 15 minutes improved physical and mental health.

The heart flowing with grief rather than holding it in to ferment and fester is a healing heart. And as this heart flows with grief it also is open to the flow of other emotions: happiness, curiosity, joy. After loss and trauma the way back to joy must pass through grief.

The Queen of Swords is our final guiding card of the moonth. This Queen has already traveled through loss and difficulty. They have expanded their heart by letting painful truths flow through and this has attuned them to the sorrows of others.

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

Writing about the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, Rachel Pollack points out that the Queen’s left hand is reaching out to “hold others’ pain as a world ends.” This Queen “does not mourn a personal loss so much as all those who have suffered in hard times.” While being dedicated to tending sorrow, the butterflies on the Queen of Swords’ crown signify a mind directed toward transformation of the old to the new. This Queen enacts the work of Justice by tending grief as a catalyst of change. 

A prophetic Queen of Swords for our times is media activist and poet Malkia Devich Cyril. In the essay To Give Your Hands to Freedom,  First Give Them to Grief from Holding Change, they write:

Grounded grief is a vaccine against the morbid conditions bred by white supremacy, a patriarchy that has distorted our families and relationships, a concentration of wealth that has disconnected us from nature and directed everything brilliant and beautiful to profit. Only through the compassion and loneliness and love inherent in grief can we forge a world out of the fire that will not replicate old hierarchies, nor replace old gods with new ones that are just as arrogant and just as punitive.

On either side of change is loss. To reimagine and reshape the world, grief is the skill we need. 

The path, passage, and posture of this moonth call us not to be dismayed or paralyzed by the personal and collective pain of this world in transition. Instead we can hear a call to learn from the truth of this pain as it passes through—rather than stays inside of—us to be transformed into something new, as it connects us to others who grieve, as it opens up our hearts to grow and to love and to create the new.

To help you tend to heart and mind on the path of Justice this moonth you can use these questions for reflection and card play:

TRUTH: What truth calls to be attended to in my life this moonth? 

FLOW: How can I honor and flow with this truth?

ENACTING JUSTICE: What contribution can I make to enacting Justice as I flow with this truth through the moonth? 

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23.  Sign up with PayPal 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.

And two offerings to mention related to the themes of the moonth: 

Love Letters to the Dead – Throughout October I will once again host Love Letters to Dead to create a container for sending messages to our Beloveds in the Beyond. The second letter writing room is coming up on October 13th. I offer this for no fee as part of my service and passion for tending a loving flow between the living and the dead. Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.

Betwixt & Between Cyber Conference – I will be presenting Speak Soul to Soul: Communicating with the Beloved Dead as part of this day-long, super affordable event of Tarot and seasonal offerings. I’ll be joining old friends like Nancy Antenucci and James Wells; excited about that! Also my Tarot Rosary for Contemplating or Meeting Death will be a gift for the first 78 people that register. Sign up soon if you’d like to see that offering.

Finally be sure to be on my list to receive this moonthly missives that come out around the new and full moons. 

Sep
22
2021

Equinox Balance, Equinox Justice

Justice – Seasonal Observances

Today is the Equinox when day and night are of equal length all over the world. The Spring and Fall Equinoxes are the only two days of the year when both North and South Hemispheres are aligned by experiencing this equal balance of sun and moon.

So, this day invites us to contemplate how we are all connected—and how what happens to any one of us impacts the whole. The Corona virus has been teaching us this lesson. Being vaccinated as an individual is not enough to protect any one of us. The virus can spread to those who won’t get vaccinated or those who do not have access to the vaccine and come back around even to the vaccinated. We—as local, national, and global communities—are all connected.

When contemplating balance and connection, those of us who work with the Tarot will bring to mind the Major Arcana’s Justice card.

This is the Justice card from The Raziel Tarot created by Rachel Pollack and Robert Place. In the companion booklet Rachel opens her meditations on Justice with a line from Deuteronomy: “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” and notes that words are rarely repeated in the Torah. The repetition of Justice could be for emphasis or, as Rachel posits, could be a call for Justice in both the spiritual and earthly world.

Here in the earthly world, I hear it as a call for each of us humans to recognize our responsibility for bring Justice into being within our systems and institutions. We must be active in bringing Justice into the places where it is absent.

Today I am thinking about Justice’s absence—its denigration—at the US-Mexico border where Haitian asylum seekers fleeing both political violence and climate-change, accelerated-natural catastrophes are met with horrific violence, an ugly echo of this country’s history of treatment of black people.

We can take action today—this day of balance, connection, and justice—to dismantle the systemic supports for this treatment of our fellow human beings.

The rationale for this response is Title 42 enacted by the Trump Administration. Title 42 allows for the expulsion of migrants without giving them a chance to apply for asylum because of the pandemic. The Biden administration has not ended this policy and in fact is fighting to keep it.

Call the White House Comment Line at 202-456-1111between 11am and 3pm to tell them to end Title 42. Then call your legislators. You can use the Capital Switchboard if you don’t have their direct numbers: 202-224-3121.

While you have them on the phone, tell them you also Haitian asylum seekers coming to our borders now to be allowed into the US to take advantage of Temporary Protected Status that is already in placeinstead of being deported.

The Biden Administration has responded to such pressure before. It did not want to increase the number of refugees into the country from levels set by the Trump Administration but reversed course under pressure. Collectively we have the power to make this change.

After we have taken these quick and easy actions, we can dedicate some spiritual work to addressing injustice on this Equinox day. Prayer, energy work, casting a protective spell or all possible. As, of course, is some Tarot exploration. You might pull cards for:

  • What advice does the Sun have for me in serving Justice (i.e. how can I be active and work in the earthly realm)?
  • What advice does the Moon have for me in serving Justice (i.e. how can I work in a mysterious, magical, consciousness shifting way)?

Then your work of both earthly and spiritual justice can contribute to more balance, more justice in the world.

Want more info? This is a good overview article from the Boston Globe.

 

Sep
20
2021

Full Moon Revelations: Illumination of the Invisible

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

The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving on Monday, the 20th (exact at 7:55pm ET), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the September 6th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with the Hermit and Nine of Pentacles, invited us to work with our “accumulations of substance” for both body and soul. 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 Pisces associated with the Tarot’s Moon card and brings an encounter between The Hermit and the Moon.

The Hermit is very much at home in the lunar landscape and all of us walking the Hermit Path this lunation will find full moon support for illumination of what is usually invisible like:

  • The Divine called by any name and perhaps perceived in concrete form in nature—sensing the power of the Divine in the form of a tree or a stone, for example—or even in the moon itself.
  • Personal and collective unconscious. Have you been aware of your dreams more lately? I’ve been having and recording vivid dreams and hearing about the dreams of others. What dreams might you invite around this full moon?
  • Patterns or ways of being/operating that we take for granted.There is a joke about two fish talking about water. One says to the other: I’ve heard about this thing called water, but I’ll believe it when I see it.” During the full moon of the Moon, we might have our eyes opened to these forces that shape us. We might come face to face, for example, with how the demands for perpetual growth of capitalism feed our need for ever more things. Or there might be a realization that an activity or small ritual you enact—lighting a candle now the night comes earlier, canning tomatoes, making herbal teas—comes from watching a grandmother or father do the same and wonder if this little practice may weave far back into the family history.
  • The Beloved Dead and Ancestors. As plant and tree growth begin to wind down here in the Northern Hemisphere and song birds migrate further south, the absence and the silence create an opening for the dead to be more present in our lives. We are entering the threshold of the dark half of the year. This full moon coming right before the Equinox sets us on the final length of our journey toward the days of remembrance that come October 31st – November 11th. (FYI, I am presenting at Betwixt & Between Cyber Conference on October 16th, which will offer a series of workshops to prepare for marking this turning point of the year.)

Hermits step out of the busyness of the everyday to seek these illuminations so they can eventually return and share what they have learned. Perhaps we will write a blog post, create a Tarot spread, teach a practice or exercise for cultivating what we’ve learned along the way. But don’t rush there just yet. The Moon of the moon invites us to really soak in the mysterious lunar energy and let it penetrate deep into our hearts, our minds, our bones. This is the soul tending we need to prepare us for the sharing to come.

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.
  • 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 Hermit and Moon 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 calls to me from the invisible realm? How can I answer? What essential message is coming from my dreams? What can I look at in a new way? How can I prepare to enter the dark half of the year? 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 October 3rd (the date of the first Love Letters to the Dead Writing Room!) offer your gift to the world.

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