Oct
19
2020

Reading of the Justice Month: Breaking the Spell

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 on Friday, October 16th, at 3:31pm ET. The full moon arrives on Saturday, October 31st to bring a revelation about how the energies are developing.

The Soul Shaping Path of Justice

The new moon arrives in the astrological sign of Libra which is associated with the Tarot’s Justice card This lunar cycle we are invited to walk the soul shaping path of justice, truth, fairness, and balance.

In Rachel Pollack and Robert Place’s Raziel Tarot, the Divine Feminine, the Shekinah, lights candles just as Jewish women do each Friday night to begin the Sabbath. Through this simple practice performed at the kitchen table, the world is renewed. In using this image for Justice, the Raziel Tarot teaches us that justice, too, can be renewed.

Rachel writes: “Our lives, our very existence, are an ongoing gift, one that is renewed at every moment, with every breath and this depends mystically, emotionally, even physically on our commitment to Justice.”

Commitment to Justice is shown by acting in these diverse ways. Mystically, rituals such as the candle lighting to enact the remaking of the world is an act of justice, Emotionally, opening your heart to the pain of injustice experienced by others and yourself is an act of justice. Physically, showing up in public (in the voting booth, at a rally, or through conversation with a neighbor) to say no to injustice and yes to visions of a fair future is an act of justice

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. In these times, I hear this repetition as a call for we humans to recognize our role in renewing justice in actions large and small day after day, week after week, year after year. 

Passage and Practice: The Four of Swords

This moon passes through the last third of Libra, which could be said to be its most developed aspect and associated with the Tarot’s Four of Swords.


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

In the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, this passage, at first glance, seems to indicate a time of inaction. But there is something mysterious about the central figure in the image. Is the Knight shown, a person sleeping or are we seeing a sarcophagus representing the dead buried within?  

Whether living or dead, the hands are actively held up in prayer position rather than resting on the figure’s chest. Reexamining this image, we find dynamic rather than passive action.

As a living being, the Four of Swords Knight is engaged in meditation or prayer to clear and concentrate the mind, and invites us to do the same. The Knight has stepped out of the everyday world for these meditations, seeking out a sacred place to support a connection to the highest/deepest values the Knight desires to uphold such as Justice. Centered again, the Knight can resist the spell that the noisy, political world would cast, disrupting their focus on serving Justice. As one dedicated to a quest and cause, this meditative pause represents a temporary time of renewal to gather energy for the work ahead. 

Meditation practices scheduled into your day (even 5 minutes helps) or week (can you find a block of time to step out of the busyness of life?) are especially beneficial for moving through this moonth’s passage. This could be as simple as closing your eyes, focus on your breath, and reminding yourself of the values you seek to uphold. When you open your eyes, you will be more centered in what is most important.

It is also possible that this Knight is an effigy of an ancient ancestor. Perhaps the ancestor prays for us, the living. This moon cycle that goes up to November 14th brings us through cross cultural days of ancestor connection. The full moon comes on Samhain, the Celtic New Year, October 31st, when the veil between the worlds is said to be thinnest. Then November’s first days bring Mexican Day of the Dead traditions, Catholic masses for All Saints and Soul Days, and secular commemorations on Veterans Day.

In this time of lengthening nights, we reach out to our beloved dead and ancestors with love. We may put a lot of effort into our reaching rituals, in our sending of love. But the Four of Swords as a passage of Justice reminds us to balance our reaching with receiving. Our ancestors can be active in their support of us. They may be sending just what we need to know to move in a positive direction out of these testing times in which we find ourselves. Perhaps they are praying for us and we need to open our hearts to receive this loving support.  

Posture: King of Cups (known as the Mystic of Vials in the Numinous Tarot)

The King of Cups shows us how to move through this passage on the path of Justice. These masters of the element of water have come into a strong relationship with their emotions. Not suppressing them but letting them flow and riding the emotional ebb and flow, storm and quiet. This emotional balance supports the King’s ability to imagine and believe in possibilities beyond rational proof, what has not yet come into existence, or what lies waiting in the past to be reclaimed. This King holds on to and shares out this vision of a just and generative world. Even when the world’s realities seem to tip far away from the vision, this King persists in working for the good of the whole in creative and loving ways.

The Moonth Overall

The work of Justice isn’t completed just at the time of the new moon. When the full moon comes on October 31st, in the sign associated with The Hierophant, 5 of Earth, and King of Pentacles we can open to healing possibilities.

In an unusual astro-Tarot alignment the Major Arcana cards associated with the new and full moon are both ruled by the planet Venus associated with the Empress. Love, abundance, and beauty, thus, are the currents running under each day of this moonth even as the everyday world may be consumed with chaos and conflict. Commune with the Empress to tend your soul and then bring what you receive into your life and let it spill into the troubled world.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS / READING FOR 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.

JUSTICE: What contribution can I make to the renewal of Justice during this moonth?

SPELL BREAKING: What spell do I need to break to make my contribution?

POSSIBILITY: What possibility—perhaps only imagined before—can I make real as I break the spell on the path of Justice?

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.

Oct
14
2020

Dark Moon Release with Baba Yaga as our Guide

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

Before the moon is made new on Friday, October 16th at 3:31pm 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 Virgo which corresponds to the Tarot’s Hermit card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot, The Hermit is Baba Yaga, the Russian Witch of the Woods. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, description of her includes:

She is reclusive with no wish to be disturbed, content as she is with the company of spirits and her faithful, mysterious servants: the bodiless hands she calls soul friends, and her beloved horsemen, the white, the red, and the black, whom she calls Bright Dawn, Red Sun, and Dark Midnight. Her powers are earthly and old and as encompassing time.

Despite little desire for human company, Baba Yaga will aid those with pure intentions who make the uncertain journey to find her deep in the woods. She gives them a near impossible task to complete. The reward for success is life and a possible—but not guaranteed—gift of magic. Those whose intentions are corrupt are baked in Baba Yaga’s oven and eaten. 

To seek out Baba Yaga with her impossible tasks and a face with fierce iron teeth is a challenge that shapes us. Success in meeting the challenge is not the end of the work, but the beginning.  Baba Yaga’s words of wisdom told to us by Ellen are: Keep going, knowing the journey does not end.  

What magic do you want to bring into the continued journey of your life? What are you willing to have transformed in the dark to make that possible?  

Starting with the 48 hours before the new moon’s arrival at 3:31pm ET on the 16th, the dark moon comes to support our transformation. You are invited to engage in reflection and ritual to celebrate acheivements of the moonth passing and release what you do not want to carry into the next lunation. 

Reflection

Look back on the happenings of the moonth that began on September 17th. If you journal, you’ll have a handy record for your personal memories, but even just looking back at your appointment calendar or photos taken can jog your mind about what’s been going on in the past few weeks and the feelings, thoughts, and ideas that arose connected to the happenings of the moonth. 

As you reflect, tune into the thoughts and feelings that seem most important or arose most regularly. Identify the most important thoughts and feelings. 

Sort your findings into categories inspired by Baba Yaga:

  • Thoughts and feelings that come out of pure intentions, those that are reflections of your Soul Self. Some will be beautiful and inspired, but the odd and strange are welcome here as long as they are true to your soul. These thoughts and feelings are to be celebrated. Pledge to them a gift of your energy for their continued development. 
  • Thoughts and feelings that are corrupt. These are the voices you hear in your head that do not belong to you at all, but are from a corrupted part of the larger world in which we live. They might be thoughts that limit you, that belittle you, that spring from oppressions you’ve internalized because of an identity you hold. These are to be released into the dark to be destroyed and their energy reorganized into something better. 
  • There is a possibility that you will also have thoughts and ideas that don’t feel like they are from within you nor are they a corrupt outside influence. These thoughts and ideas are loving. Perhaps they seem kinder to you than you usually are to yourself. These thoughts and ideas cheer you on when you are operating from your Soul Self even when it is strange. These may be the voices of your soul friends. Like Baba Yaga’s hands and horsemen, these are invisible presences who support you as the journey goes on an on. Perhaps you think of them as your spirit guides or they may be your ancestors or beloved dead (we are entering the season of tending to the dead so the season is supportive of more of these messages). These thoughts and ideas are to be treasured as gifts from the Beyond.  

Dark Moon Release Ritual

You are invited to bring a piece of actual and delicious chewy food into this ritual. Alternately, you can also imagine eating this food during the ritual. 

Create sacred space by lighting a candle, imagining that you are ringed with a circle of protection, and/or your usual actions.

You can invite Baba Yaga and/or the face of Greater Than that you have been serving this moonth to with you and aid you in this dark moon release. Spend as much time as you need connecting with Them.

Place your real or imagined food before you. Breathe over this food. As you exhale, imagine that you are exhaling what you want to release out of your body and into the food. Imagine it leaving your body and going into the food. 

When you feel you have released all you need to release into the food, pick it up and take a bite. Chew the bite and imagine the corrupt thoughts and ideas being torn apart by your teeth until they are no longer recognizable, until they no longer have power over you. Swallow and know that the transformed food will give you energy to live your Soul Self in the moonth to come. 

Eat until the food is gone. Eat until your releasing is done.

After you have completed your releasing, tune into your body, feeling it lighter. Re-center yourself by connecting with earth below you and the sky above you. Feel their energy mix in your heart. Be open to a blessing coming to you from Baba Yaga and/or your face of the Greater Than.

When the new moon arrives, you may want to make wishes for your love will be beautiful in the moonth to come. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth.

 

Sep
29
2020

Fool Moon Revelation: You are powerful

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

In the universe, there are things that are known and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.  William Blake (quoted by Marie White in the Mary-El Tarot‘s entry on the Two of Wands)

 

What door do you stand before now?

Many are trying desperately to push you through the doorway of fear and futility. They want you to think that what you do won’t matter, can’t make a difference.

The full moon comes on Thursday (exact at 5:05pm ET) to call BS on that!  

The cards corresponding to this full moon come to say …

… You are the Emperor.

… You are the Queen of Fire.

… You can pass through the doorway of passion, power, and birthing of the new.

To charge yourself with this full moon’s invitation to your fire within, you might do one, any, or all of these practices:

  • Commune with the moon. You could take a night walk or 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?
  • Reflect on questions such as: What is my greatest source of power? How can I exercise it? What do I want to be birthed into the world? How can I be a midwife to that birthing? What doorway calls to me? How can I step through it? You can, of course, pull a card for these questions. You may want to engage in Visio Divina to find the layers of wisdom within the cards.

Energized and focused, you can go through the doorway that opens into the greatest personal and collective potential.

The teacher and activist Joanna Macy says we are in a Great Turning.

What each one of us does now matters, not because one of us alone could fix the mess we are in, but because only by coming together and acting collectively can we push, push, push to open up the doorway of love and compassion, respect and connection, justice and joy.

And when the door is open we can all walk through together.

Sep
22
2020

The Equinox: When our Solar selves and Lunar selves stand equal

For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary – Seasonal Observances – Tarot

A re-post from the 2012 September Equinox.

At the equinoxes, the day and night stand equal. The energy of the sun is balanced with the energy of the moon and the stage is set for transition to a new season.

In the Western esoteric tradition from which the Tarot grows, there is a maxim that you have probably heard, “As above, so below.” The longer translation is: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”

Following the direction of As above, so below,” the shift in the natural world at the equinox becomes an invitation for us humans to seek the unity of One Thing by meeting and melding our Solar selves and Lunar selves.

And what are our Solar and Lunar selves? This question might turn us to Astrology seeking an answer, but today I’d like to stick just with The Moon and The Sun Tarot cards and the meaning their symbols inspire.

We gain insight into our Lunar Self by looking at The Moon card. This picture of the Self is one in which not all can be known. We are a mystery even to ourselves, but periodically something rises up out of the depths calling for attention. In the Rider-Waite-Smith card, it is a crayfish emerging from the depths. This ancient life form is spiny, prickly, and not that attractive, but some strong desire has it setting out on the golden path that starts at the water’s edge. This tiny creature will have to brave the baying dogs and the guardian towers, but these tests will deepen the work of walking the path. This is our Lunar Self and especially as we move into lengthening nights here in the Northern Hemisphere, it may have something to reveal to you. To better meet this Self, journal or pull Tarot cards to find your way toward answers to these questions:

  • What part of your Lunar Self wants to reveal itself to you at this time?
  • How can you meet this Lunar Self?
  • What challenges might this Self offer at this time?
  • What gifts might this Self offer at this time?

 

We gain insights into our Solar Self by looking at the Sun card. This radiant and innocent part of our Self meets each day with open arms. Our Solar Self can stand naked before the world because there is nothing to hide. Clarity and accomplishment are the deep wells of this Self, and the way opens up easily before our Solar Self using its best gifts in the world. At the Autumn Equinox, we see the gifts of the sun at their zenith in the bounty of the crops; it is the time to harvest those gifts. This invites a celebration of the bounty of the Solar Self, too, and the work accomplished in the growing season of the past months. To better meet this Self, journal or pull Tarot cards to find your way toward answers to these questions:

  • What part of your Solar Self has been most radiant these past months?
  • How can you honor the gifts of this Solar radiance?
  • What “seeds” or projects did not reach full growth and need to be weeded out of your life?
  • What “crops” or projects should be preserved to nurture you during the long winter?

Supported by greater insight and understanding, these Lunar and Solar selves can meet each other and meld together. This is like what happens each day at dawn and dusk where the red line of their encounter marks the horizon with beauty but perhaps also with an awareness of the difficult surrender, the “blood” that must be spilt. The shifting of the seasons can be like that, too, with unusual and unexpected storms shaking our houses and chaffing our skin. The integrating of Lunar and Solar selves may take some time. My suggested process here is to mix your two sets of cards together and then lay them out in a line or a circle. Leave the cards out for at least a week or perhaps all the way until the Solstice and reflect on the following:

  • What new relationships exist within these cards?
  • What story are these cards telling now about you? Pick a starting point and go straight through the cards writing out a narrative.
  • What is revealed in this new configuration?
  • What remains a mystery?

This integration is a path way toward a transformed Self who can meet the world with greater inner resources.

[Images are from what many call the Rider-Waite-Smith deck to honor the artist Pamela Coleman Smith. The deck is published as the Rider-Waite Tarot by U.S. Games Systems in the U.S. and they hold the copywrite to the deck. These images are from the 1st edition collected by Holly Voley.]

Sep
17
2020

Virgo New Moon Wisdom from Yesbelt Fernandez

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

Virgo Moonth ~ September 17th – October 16th

by Yesbelt Fernandez of Yes Spiral

New moons are a powerful time for setting intentions, making wishes, and breaking or making habits. It is also a good time to look inward to explore what is sitting in the shadows asking to come to light. The next new moon will be in Virgo on Thursday, September 17th at 7am Eastern time.

Five years ago, during a Virgo new moon I started on my journey of tapping into the energy of the moon by setting intentions and using tarot as a framework to keep me on track to manifestation.  Over the years my practice has evolved but following the cycles and phases of the moon has remained a constant companion. I pick five cards, one for the new moon, waxing moon, full moon, waning moon and the fifth card carries into the following moonth keeping me spiraling in concentric monthly circles. More on the spread later for now, let’s take a closer look at what Virgo energy is all about.

Virgo is an earth sign and in tarot earth signs are represented by the suit of Pentacles. The energy is grounding, stabilizing, and manifesting. It symbolizes values, practicality, prosperity, tradition, security, work and health. Virgo energy inspires a need to analyze, discriminate, and function efficiently.

When the Sun or the Moon are in Virgo here are some things to do: Analyze, edit, critique, organize, while having faith in the perfection of the whole.  Assess the details, sort what to keep and what to release. Deal with paperwork, mechanics, delicate crafts, or anything where precision is needed. Work out and eat well.

All 78 tarot cards have a place on the astrological wheel. All of the signs have two Major Arcana cards, one Court card and three minor arcana cards. The cards associated with Virgo are:

The Hermit is ruled by Virgo:

The Hermit is self-disciplined, reliable, and a troubleshooter. They represent wisdom, introspection, meditation, and leadership by example. Their rationality and practicality tend to keep them isolated. They have a desire to teach and help people.

The Magician is ruled by Mercury which rules over Virgo (and Gemini).

The Magician is a master of space, time, and cosmic energy. They serve as a channel for transformation and change and act as a link between ideas and physical existence. Mercury also rules over messages and communications.

Knight of Pentacles is the physical embodiment of Virgo and Mercury. They are patient and calm, discerning and analytical and move at a slow and steady pace. They are energized when in service to others and are happy to take care of the ordinary and mundane details of everyday responsibilities which others often overlook.

Eight of Pentacles is ruled by the Sun in Virgo. They are known as Lord of Prudence.  The Sun brightens everything it shines upon, providing a boost of energy and optimism to work. Like the Hermit, Virgo is diligent and devoted to his craft until reaching success and achievement.

Nine of Pentacles is ruled by Venus in Virgo. They are known as Lord of Material Gain.  Venus planet of pleasure and contentment is at her fall in Virgo, but they manage to transform the space to fit their needs of comfort and beauty. Venus in Virgo brings gifts of prosperity and possessions.

Ten of Pentacles is ruled by Mercury in Virgo. Is known as the Lord of Wealth. Mercury is exalted in Virgo and brings the Hermit messages from the outside world. The wealth he brings are happy familial relationships, health, boundaries, and money for needs and wants for a life well lived.

Now that you are more familiar with Virgo it is a good time to set intentions and pull cards to cycle through the moonth. The New Moon in Virgo energy will be most potent Thursday September 17th through Saturday September 19th 2020.

1.  What is the seed (foundation) of the Moonth in Virgo?

2. What begins to grow as the Moon waxes in Capricorn?

3. What peaks as the moon becomes full in Aries?

4. What to let go of and release as the moon wanes in Cancer?

5. What is the seed (foundation) of the next moonth in Libra?

(The card you choose here will cycle up to position number 1 next moonth)

Along with my card work, I work with herbs to really bring my experience of these themes into the body. This month I’m taking the Knight of Pentacles as my herbal guide because he is earthly like Virgo and fiery like the Magician. This Knight inspires me to work with Peppermint and Horehound. The two combined make a lovely tea to support a healthy respiratory and digestive systems. Systems that we want to keep happy during these pandemic times. 

Peppermint is associated with the element of fire and is traditionally used to aid digestion and cool down fevers. Magically, peppermint is used for purification and to raise the vibration of an area.

Horehound is associated with the element of earth and traditionally used to make cough drops. Magically, horehound is used for protection, to clear the mind, and promote quick thinking.

You might want to brew some of this tea to drink while you are laying out your cards. 

Sources

•    Bloch, Douglas & George, Demetra

 Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand and Interpret Your Own Birth Chart

•    Cunningham, Scott

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

•    Kenner, Corrine

Tarot and Astrology: Enhance Your Readings with the Wisdom of the Zodiac

•    Roan Robbins, Heather

Be your own Moon Astrologer. Transform your life using the Moon’s signs and cycles

•    Spiller, Jan

New Moon Astrology. The Secret of Astrological Timing to Make All Your Dreams Come True

•    Waite, Arthur and Smith, Pamela Coleman

The Rider Tarot Deck

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