Apr
12
2021

Reading of the Moonth: Conduits of Power

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

Each year the first moonth of spring—its initiating moment is the new moon’s arrival overnight from the 11th to the 12th, exact at 10:30pm ET on the 11th— invites us to contemplate power as we walk the path of the Emperor, the 4th card of the Major Arcana. Also known as the Chief, Builder, or Sovereignty, for example, this wisdom figure when working from their greatest potential recognizes the source of their power and yields to it in service of the Whole.

This year’s path of power is shaped by its passage through the landscape and symbols of the 4 of Wands. In the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, two festive figures ahead of a crowd—perhaps it’s a parade—approach the four wands arranged to hint at a structure, but there are no walls. The “ceiling” is indicated by a garland of leaves and flowers, but creates little separation between the earth and sky. This structure is temporary, making its existence fleeting, but also easy to move and re-create.

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

The 4 of Wands’ open walls, temporary nature, and maneuverability reflect an understanding of power different from what I have experienced in mainstream culture. The messages I’ve received—how ‘bout you?—are that power is limited so to be grabbed, held on to, and defended in the form you receive it. If you let go, you’ll lose it.

As I’ve been contemplating this 4 of Wands power, I’ve also been reading Grieving While Black by Breeshia Wade (Especially for USAers, I highly recommend this book for opening your heart up to our current reality in this country. It’s only 165 pages, but it is the kind of book that you ponder and meditate on rather than speed through.) In chapter 6, she explores power, and writes:

Though we have perverted the use of power into something that we own and wield over and against other beings, power cannot be possessed any more than life can. We are conduits of power, not owners of it. Power is a force that flows through us in any given moment. It wields us, and through it, we respond to what is in front of us. 

In this vision of power, our power grows because we are constantly releasing it. In flow, we don’t hold on, but instead open to receive but then let go, passing the power on. Once we’ve let go, we are open to the next wave coming to fill us. In this vision of power, a scarcity mindset and need to control are replaced with a dynamic relationship to the flow of power.

Flowing power contains everything so to swim in it we must receive and pass power to our fellow human beings but also to nature and even the celestial bodies. Yes, I think, opening to new moon energies, developing them through the full, and releasing into the dark can be a beneficial practice for cultivating 4 of Wands power. Just think of what it would be like if every 28 days, politicians, or white folks, for example, consciously passed something of their power on to another. Ah, I can dream; we are in the realm of the moon after all.

This moonth we are invited to give extra attention to how power flows between us and the earthly, natural forces by our posture card associated with the new moon moment: the King of Pentacles or, as this wisdom figure is known in the Herbcrafter Tarot, the Curandera of Earth.

Deck creators Latisha Gutherie and Joanna Powell Colbert describe the work of this wise one and suggest how we can walk in her footsteps: The Curandera of Earth knows that when we share the sweetness of life with another, all may thrive. She brings attention to the rich bounty that nature provides. She instructs us: Braid together love, health, and wealth—then give it away.

This moonth’s questions for reflection / reading are offered to support your being a conduit of power:

POWER: What power desires to flow through me?

RECEIVING: How can I open to receive this power?

RELEASING: How can I let it go?

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.

Apr
8
2021

Dark Moon Release with with Arianrhod as our Guide

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

Before the moon is made new on April 11th at 10:30pm ET, it returns to the place on the astrological Wheel where it began its moonthly journey. The energy gathered through the moonth now flows away into moonless nights. What will you send with this energy to be transformed in the dark?

The moonth we are concluding began and now ends in Pieces which corresponds to the Tarot’s Moon card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot The Moon is Arianrhood, the Welsh Goddess of the Moon. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, description of Her includes:

Arianrhod – whose name means Silver Wheel – is a shapeshifter who often appears as an owl of the night, the owl who sees in the darkness, who sees at once ahead and behind, whose wings are soft and silent. She is the weaver upon her wheel, braiding and binding her magic into the manifestation of the world and the destiny of its creatures.

In the Celtic tradition, owls are associated with death, and could serve as guardians of the underworld and protectors of the dead. The newly dead encounter Arianrhod in her tower behind the dreamy glow of the northern lights, and here she serves as a guide to help them make their transition from life to death and then onward into their next incarnation.

Death and life are woven together at this time of year in the occurrences of the natural world and in wisdom of Arianrhod. In yards and forest around my town, early bulbs and spring wildflowers are pushing their way up through the litter of dead leaves that have been their protection until now. Acknowledgement and work with this interwoven nature of life and death can bring power to your dark moon release work this moonth. Starting the 2 -3 days before new moon’s arrival is the optimal time for engaging in reflection and ritual to make this release.

Reflection

Do you record your dreams? If so, you are invited to look back at the dreams of the moonth for images that capture your attention, patterns that appear, and perhaps to see if any dream images had an echo in your waking life.

If you don’t record or remember your dreams, you can pull 3 Tarot or oracles to show you the main themes of your dreams this moonth. (We dream each night, even if we don’t remember those dreams.)

Then working with your reflections or your cards, ponder questions such as:

  • What are my dreams telling me about what is dead in my life (i.e. ready to be transformed)?
  • What are my dreams telling me about what new is ready to emerge into my life?

After you’ve done some pondering on your own, select by choice or chance cards to represents each thing you feel is ready to transform and each thing that might be coming new in your life.

Dark Moon Ritual

Before going to sleep on the dark moon night, shapeshift into the role of Arianrhod. You might do this by gazing on an image of her, inviting her through meditation, or by feeling the power of the dark and moonless night.  

Then take up each of the cards from the reflection above that represent what is ready to be transformed in your life and spend some time in communion with the aspects of the image that most captivate your attention. Let them know that they are dead and now is the time to transition into something new. Imagining yourself as Arianrhod, give each aspect words of encouragement and advice for making the journey into death and then beyond into the next incarnation.

Then as you prepare to go to sleep ask that these elements be released and transformed in the dark of night. You might imagine them getting into some kind of conveyance – a boat or a chariot or a sports card – and moving away from you as you drift into sleep.

Trust that the night will do its work.

When the new moon arrives, you may want to take up the cards that represented the new in your life and let them inspire you to make new moon wishes. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth.

Mar
29
2021

Full Moon Revelations: The depths are now part of your truth

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

The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving on Sunday, March 28th (exact at 2:49pm ET), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the March 13th new moon are developing. That new moon, guided by its association with the Tarot’s Moon card, invited us to surface and shine a light on a message emerging from our depths. 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 Libra associated with the Tarot’s Major Arcana card of Justice. As the Moon encounters Justice, we are called to bring what has emerged from our depths into the balance of our lives.

What we encountered in the depths, might be a gift or a challenge—or a combination of both. The Moon might have inspired a long sought increased flow of intuition or it might have brought a pattern or a secret to the surface that is difficult to confront. No matter what we have encountered in the depths, now that we have brought it to light, it can’t just be returned.

Justice, especially as shown as Maat in the Dark Goddess Tarot, signifies truth. Through deck creator Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, Maat says to us: Speak only what is true. The depths are now part of your truth. You must include them on the scales of your life.

This applies to us collectively as well as personally. In the United States, the depths are a founding entwined with genocide of the native peoples, enslavement of those brought in chains from Africa, and explotation of and violence against immigrants. The last few years—just the last few weeks!—have been filled with events turning the floodlights on these truths of our founding and how they have embedded racism within our instuitions today.

But the U.S.A.’s depths are also resistance to this injustice by individuals and multi-racial people’s movements. Just a few examples for inspiration: A Pequot leader writes an “Indian Declaration of Independence,” spurring the Mashpee Indians to organize and gain the same rights as any other Massachusetts citizens in 1834.  White soldiers in 1864 refuse orders to particpate in the Sand Creek Massacre of Arapaho and Cheyenne people. Southern-born sisters becoming abolotionists who wrote and spoke across the country in the 1830s. A rabbi organizes a Freedom Seder for civil rights activists on the first anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assisination. Thousands of people of all races, ages, and gender-identities worked with the BIPOC-led grassroots organizations of The Frontline on voter turn out, election protection, bringing joy to the polls, and the run offs in Georgia for the 2020 election. These depths of beautiful resistance and the joy of coming together with others for positive change are also truths to be integrated into the balance of our lives.

To support you in integrating your depths 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.)
  • Bring out your Moon and Justice 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 am I learning about what is arising from my personal depths ….. and/or from the depths of my community or country? How do I interate this learning into my life? What is the truth I am called to speak now? Who/what can help me speak or amplify my truth? 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 April 9th offer your gift to the world.

Mar
15
2021

Reading of the Month: Whale Song

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

My housemate has a coffee maker. Last week I heard extraordinary sounds coming from this most ordinary appliance. The gurgles of water passing through the filter gave way to longer notes like a moan but with a twist of sound that turned toward elation. A whole range of feeling flowed from those few sounds coming from the coffee maker.

Sounds like whale song filled my kitchen.

And it is the season for whale song to guide us to our depths and invite us then to surface. In March we are not quite in winter but not yet arrived as spring. There can be storms but also sudden days of sun and where I live that means mud, that messy mix of earth and water. Our hearts may rise one day like the whale surfacing to play, but the next slip back into the watery deep called by a song that holds longings and emotions too complex to be easily described.  We are between seasons, diving and rising like whales to move with the shifting currents.

And a whale appears on Tarot Roots of Asia’s 10 of Cups, which is the minor card associated with this new moon day of Saturday, March 13th (the exact moment was 5:21am ET).

In the Tarot tradition, the 10 of Cups indicates simple pleasures and emotional connection, invites us to connect to  family that nurtures us (biological and/or chosen). The meaning is not complicated and it’s hard to find a challenging aspect. But the whale in the Tarot Roots of Asia 10 of Cups brings an added layer of, yes, depth where, along with enjoying the 10 of Cups’s gifts, we also acknowledge what is below the happiness or obscured by the simplicity of a pleasant image.  

From Tarot Roots of Asia

This has me contemplating our pandemic emergence. We are longing to be out and connecting with each other in person. When this time arrives, it will be delightful! And underneath the delight for so many of us there will be loss: of loved ones, jobs, health, more. If we seek to evade this reality, our delight will be shallow. We might find that we don’t enjoy ourselves as much as we thought we would. The acknowledgement of the full picture is a counter-intuitive key to our happiness.  

And this acknowledgement is also important to walking this moonth’s path of The Moon, the Tarot’s archetype of mystery. On the Moon’s path, we flow with our emotions, follow our intuition, activate our imaginations, and are aware of our instincts. We are not in control on the Moon’s path; the waters will flow where they will.

How can we work with all this water? Our model this moonth adds some balance to all the water of the moonth by calling in fire, new energy, and focused vision. The Queen of Wands channels her energy and her vision into bringing forth positive relations, projects, and/or works of art that uplift her people. She is not swamped by the waters but stands on top of them to nurture the positive.

On the astrological Wheel of Year of Tarot correspondences, the Queen of Wands is a bridge between one year and the next. She guides us through these last few days of the whole astrological year, and ushers us into the new one beginning with the Spring Equinox on March 20th. She then rules with the Emperor through the first weeks of the new year and the tipping toward greater light as the days lengthen.

In the Dark Goddess Tarot, Cerridwen, the Welsh Goddess of Transformation, takes the place of the Queen of Wands. Deck creator Ellen Lorenzi-Prince gives us Cerridwen’s advice to us as: Craft anew with the bones of the old. 

From the Dark Goddess Tarot

The pandemic stripped our old lives down to the bone, attunded us to strange new songs. The soul work of now is not to walk away from the truenes, the strangeness of this moment, but instead to transform what remains into new ways of being and structures that are equitable, just, sustainable, and, yes, joyful. 

This moonth’s questions for reflection / reading are offered to support your flowing with and rising from the depths:

DEPTHS: What is being called from my depths?

SURFACE: How can I bring it to the surface? 

EMERGENCE: What can come forth if I shine a light on what’s surfacing?

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.

Mar
10
2021

Dark Moon Release with Spider Woman as Guide

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

Before the moon is made new on March 13th at 5:21am ET in the USA, it returns to the place on the astrological Wheel where it began its moonthly journey. The energy gathered through the moonth now flows away into moonless nights. What will you send with this energy to be transformed in the dark?

The moonth we are concluding began and now ends in Aquarius which corresponds to the Tarot’s Star card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot The Star is Spider Woman, the Hopi Goddess of Thought and Creation (XVII, Stars). Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, description of Her includes:

She creates the stars to shine upon her people in the darkest night. She arranges the constellations to show her people there is meaning in creation. A single star in the sky may appear a small thing, but be significant in relation to another, through the patterns they make together, and in the feelings the expanse of a starry night evokes.

Spider Woman reminds us that we are connected to each other, to the earth, to the sky, to the Whole – and invites us to release all that separates us from flowing with this connection. During the 3 – 4 days before and up to the  new moon’s arrival is an appropriate time for engaging in reflection and ritual to make this release.

Reflection

Take a sheet or paper or open up your journal and make a place for 2 lists:

Times I felt connected to something greater ~ Times I felt disconnected

Now look back on the happenings of the moonth that began on February 11th. If you journal, you’ll have a handy record, but even just looking back at your appointment calendar can jog your mind about what’s been going on in the past few weeks. Make entries on each list.

If you need help making entries on your list, you can always turn over Tarot and oracle cards to show you images to inspire entries.

When your lists are complete, let yourself be for a while with the connections you have found and how they have enriched your life. You might reflect on what made them possible – and think about how to keep building that into your life. You might offer gratitude to others, the Divine, and/or yourself for making these connections possible. You might finish with creating a small art work, writing a poem, or saying a closing prayer.

Then you can turn to your list of disconnections. What will you do with these broken and fragment parts of your life? Maybe some need further reflection to better understand what wisdom they are trying to offer you. Maybe some are so clear and now you can let this part of you know that it can rest and no longer work in your life this way. Maybe some stir up strong feelings and you should walk or box or scream with them.

After you have spent a while with your disconnections, identify which ones you want to release into the dark moon time to be dissolved and transformed.

Dark Moon Ritual

Inspired by The Stars’ focus on consciousness and creation, an internal meditative process would be appropriate.

Find a comfortable place to sit and close your eyes. Take some time to tune into your body and your breath. Feel how you are supported by the earth through a chair or the floor you sit on. Imagine stars above you and their light flowing down to you to connect you to the cosmos. Remember your connections. You might imagine that they are a circle of pulsating energy that supports you and that ripples out, connecting you to the Whole.

Now you might call to mind individually each of the disconnections you wish to release. They might rise up in your mind’s eye as a shape, symbol, or even a Tarot/oracle image. Let it float in front of you and when you are ready circle your lips and blow toward the image and watch it float away. Your breath might match the intensity of work to release. Some might be gentle, others fierce.

When your disconnections are gone, let yourself be under a clear starry sky on a dark moon night and bask in your connection to their luminous light.

Source Note: The reflection is inspired by my encounters with Ignatian Spirituality and the practice of doing an examen to name consolations and desolations each day and look for a pattern. I have borrowed the form and made it more general rather than specifically Christian.

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