The new moon—arrived overnight Thursday into Friday (exact at 2:24am for me in ET)—brings us our annual invitation to walk the Path of Power.
The power theme is suggested by the astrological sign of Aries’ association with the Tarot’s Emperor, but I’m tired of Emperors.
The emperors of our times are a hot mess. They’ve become caricatures of their archetype’s shadows. They would be funny like villains in B movies if they weren’t so destructive in the real world. Their own corruption is hollowing out what they wish to rule. Collapse—in some form, at some time—is coming. Maybe the Wheel that once lifted them to on top will roll over them as they slide to the bottom.
How much attention should we give to these malevolent power players? Since they currently control the structures of society, we can’t ignore them entirely. We must watch them and take action to limit their negative and violent impact.
But let’s not give them all of ourselves. Instead we can hold on to—even expand—the space for our minds to seek, our hearts to lead, our imaginations to grow. The correspondences of the moonth counsel us not to let them limit our vision of what can be.
The 3 of Wands, our new moon passage card, marks these new moon days and this lunar cycle as time for renewing our vision.
Inspired by this verse from the Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell, translator), I find 3 to be the quintessential signifier of manifestation:
The Tao gives birth to One.
One gives birth to Two.
Two gives birth to Three.
Three gives birth to all things.
The manifesting power of the three within the energy of fire-associated Wands could especially support visions for expansive growth of:
- the passions we expressed in relationship or pet projects;
- deeper connection to the activating spirit within our cells, not only us humans but also trees and plants, animals and stars;
- collaborations that are energizing and can move us towards achieving shared goals;
- sparks of creative expression taking form.
And this trilogy of wands fires up our commitment to action for making these visions real.
This moonth’s model for us to emulate in doing our visioning is the Queen of Wands. In the Dark Goddess Tarot, Cerridwen, the Welsh Goddess of Transformation, stands in the place of this fiery Queen. Deck creator Ellen Lorenzi-Prince gives Cerridwen’s advice to us as: Craft anew with the bones of the old. Cerridwen directs our attention into the wisdom of the past to make something new.
From The Dark Goddess Tarot
I’ve been contemplating crafting anew with the bones of the old since attending a beautiful poetry event this past weekend. Kimberly Blaeser, an Anishinaabe writer and former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, shared her work and the evening ended with a conversation between her and Santee Frazier, Poet in Residence at UMass and member of the Cherokee nation.
One of the many quotes I wrote down from Ms. Blaeser was: “We never only see what we see.” And throughout her talk she was offering different layers of meaning for these wise words.
She spoke first of how the place out of which we come shapes our vision and our language. There are different vocabularies for desert, sea, and mountain. I thought also of the different awareness that comes from growing up in a city, suburb, or rural area. These earliest vocabularies shape our awareness and so direct our vision and expression.
A vital part of these vocabularies is the relationships that they foster. In Native cultures from ancient times to the present, kinship exists with all of creation. Ms. Blaeser spoke of how her people’s language, Anishinaabemowin, makes all things active, water and rocks along with people and animals. All act together in this world we share. These “kinship relationships demand reciprocity,” a giving and receiving of gifts that makes life possible. This contrasts to the taking and extracting, buying and selling of inanimate things.
“We are not going to survive if we continue with the ownership model,” she continued. We can’t keep treating all others beyond the humans as things to be used. Instead she offered that we could make “a return to reciprocity” and recognize the responsibilities that come with recognizing our connections. Being raised in the ownership model, I know it shapes the possibilities I can see, but just listening to her words and soaking in her invitation to return to reciprocity reminds me that in the past of my people—of all people—there is a tradition of reciprocity. Even though it might be far in the past, this tradition is still there waiting to be recovered.
Toward the end of the talk someone asked about what gives her hope and Ms. Blaeser replied that we humans “are not the most important thing, but I do think we can be salvaged.” In response to this question of hope, Mr. Frazier spoke of how “continuance is part of the tradition.” He knows that there is someone tending the fire in the long house in his home community and it is these actions that make a difference for the continuance of Native lifeways.
I was grateful for and inspired by their sharing from their Native traditions that are rich in wisdom about kinship, reciprocity, and continuance of indigenous ways. I want to find my way toward supporting these values. I want to be part of the “return to reciprocity.”
Writing about the event for you and seeing “return to reciprocity” here in my musings, I am seeing anew what a gift these words are. I am seeing that they are a reminder to and invitation for all people to find in their traditions the places where reciprocity—along with kinship and connection to the earth and all its beings—still lives. These values may not be tended in a way that keeps them in the center of the culture—our current emperors control the center instead—but they still exist, can still be returned to.
We can find our way back by turning toward and practicing our into the remnants of values of reciprocity within all traditions. These remnants are often hidden in plain sight or thriving at the edges of society.
I’ve found the Goddess hidden in plain sight. Statues of the Virgin Mary are in front of churches, in grottos, placed alongside highways. I once walked into a Medieval gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC—a place where the emperors hold great sway—and surrounded by statues of the Virgin a feeling of presence washed over me: the Goddess is here. And in her presence the values of ancient cultures based on values such as reciprocity are activated. Those of Crete or the Celts, for example, where the integration of human and more-than-human can be perceived in what we know of their spiritual life. The Celts worshiped in groves while in Crete sacred places were aligned to mountains, included caves, and evoked the shape of the feminine body.
The animal world is at the edge of our “civilized” world, but that edge is all around us. City skies are filled with birds of prey and deer move through the suburbs. No matter where we live we can take an animal as a teacher by visiting, observing, and opening ourselves to their lessons. Imagine what it might be like to take the beaver as a teacher of what it is like to be an emperor. Like so many emperors they are great builders, but they also are adaptable, shifting to work with the changes in their atmosphere including a changing climate. In gratitude for their teachings, we can offer something back. Work to protect their habitats for example.
The Dead, too, are at the edge. Our recent beloveds are still connected to us with strong strands of memory. They can be a bridge to the further back ancestors. And we can keep reaching all the way back to the ancient ancestors who lived themselves in cultures where reciprocity, kinship, connection to nature were the way. When we come into relationship with them, first our inner eyes open to a new way of seeing. And then we can take that vision into looking at our current world.
When we look in these places a renewed vision that connects us back in time and moves us forward into the future is possible. The renewed vision can then become our power
READING OF THE MOONTH
SOURCE: What to turn toward to expand what I can see?
VISION: What vision can emerge—or be reaffirmed—from this new seeing?
RENEWAL: How can the world be renewed as I work to bring the vision to life?
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