DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out.
I didn’t remember the owl until he brought me the book about owls that he’d never shown interest in before.
I remembered that we discovered him by ripping up the old wood. It was rotted, but then we went too far, we ripped up the good wood, too. I didn’t rip it up, but I did stand by, not preventing it, and I watched the impulsive and hasty thrashing. I realized the baby owl was living inside, “Wait! Stop!” I implored. Perhaps the ripping-up was part of his birth. He flailed around panicked at the new freedom and in his haste to escape the careless freneticism. He behaved as if just learning to use his wings. He’d been trapped and now needed to exercise his strength. Frightened, he flew to a nearby tree and looked back at those who ripped up his home, eyes wide. I was next to them, but not with them. I, too, stood apart and looked back at them, eyes wide with fear. The owl’s feathers were brown and white, almost stripes, a most beautiful and unusual configuration.
I was having dinner at a restaurant I used to frequent. I thought you never went there any more out of a distaste born of shame. You decided to hate the place instead of yourself. Truly you hated both now. I was surprised to see you there, eating with some friends. (Including some old friends of mine. I don’t speak to them anymore, although I continued speaking with them too long after I discovered they were feral.) You were wearing an old baggy sweater, navy blue with some holes in it, and baggy jeans. Perhaps a hat. All slightly too large and dirty, but intentional none-the-less. You left the table to smoke a cigarette, which surprised me because you were never really a smoker before and now you had a baby. I figured if you smoked, he probably hadn’t quit. I had no feelings upon seeing you beyond my surprise at your presence and at your smoking. Perhaps satisfaction that you’d returned to the kind of filth in which you indulged before you’d ever met me. I was relieved to see you return to something truer, albeit less flattering.
I went outside into the snow and behind me the restaurant was the old house where my dead husband’s parents live. My friends left without me so I used my cell phone to call my father for a ride home although it was late and I worried about his driving in the snow and also wondered if he’d perhaps had one more glass of wine than prudent for driving dark, snowy roads. As I talked with him I saw one of your friends sledding down a hill and she hit a fence and screamed with pain. I saw her crash but didn’t imagine it too be so bad. She continued to writhe and scream, seemingly unable to get up. I ran over to her body in the snow, dropping my telephone with my father on the line. Dropping my way of getting home. She lay face down, a wound swelling and bleeding on the back of her skull. Other injuries to her abdomen; she tried to get up but could not. I told her not to move and went for a phone to dial an ambulance. I worried that she lay in the cold snow, but worried more about moving her. I thought to bring a blanket. I found a cell phone in the snow to call for help, but it wasn’t mine and I couldn’t unlock it. I found my phone. I felt tired and interpreted it as my reluctance to help anymore. Her friends were nowhere in sight.
You were going to travel to Greece and I saw the large, ancient stone walls rise at the coast, a dam holding back the sea. I pointed to the dark and churning waters lapping the top of the wall, hundreds of feet tall, and told you that this was the highest the sea had ever risen in history. The sky darkened grey and navy blue and the stone wall was dark and brown. People still populated the beach, they were too close to the wall to understand or see the threat. You would travel to Meteora.
I lived in a house on the coast. I was there with two men who used to come into the restaurant, someone my friend used to affectionately call “the mayor” because of his gregarious nature and his relationships with so many townspeople. The other was a real estate agent. We all stood on the second floor of the house and looking out of the window I saw the sea rise darkly, pushing against the paneless window. There were traces of clear silicone caulk sealing this fixed panel of glass into the wall; it was never meant to open, perhaps in prescience, but the sea had never risen this high before. The storm had not even begun and the water was already threatening the integrity of the house, testing the caulk.
“You live on the coast, too, just further up. Is the water rising around your windows?” I asked the so-called mayor. “No,” he responded, seemingly unfazed.
“I’ve been having dreams about floods,” I told you. You were in Los Angeles and I was on the East Coast, with dogs recovering from surgery. Preparing for a fireworks display that would terrify the animals, send them running for cover that they would never adequately find, shaking and panting. Years ago the fireworks were viewed as a celebration, but now, there was significant dissent among the population, who, like the dogs, found the bombast terrifying and corrupt. “I don’t think these floods are about me,” I continued. “It is a warning. A message for everyone.”
We continued our conversation, but your manner changed. You were alerted and concerned because your dog was pacing. He needed something, although the answer to his interrogative was unclear, it was not quite his usual behavior. You decided to take him outside and returned my call after a few moments.
As we talked your room began to move. It continued. The floor shook, the clothes swayed in your closet. You needed to sit down.
These earthquakes continued for the next days, opening a massive fissure in the earth. The large crack extended from an area that apparently held water before. The erosion patterns on the desert sand indicate that some of that water was sucked out. The giant crack isn’t the only evidence that the region’s topography has permanently changed.
You tried to hang yourself again. He had to take the belts and scarves rigged around the apartment. You screamed violence at him and he left shaking. Everyone wanted to call an ambulance, but we prevented that from happening. I don’t know if your physical safety is of most importance, but I continue behaving as if it were. Once people came to get you, to look after you, you remained often angry and secretive. This happened before. Six months ago, but before that too, and it would happen again. It is your shame. You’ve decided to hate things and to hate yourself, repeating the story over and over in prayer. It pulls you into the fissure that’s opened in the earth. I wish you were guilty instead. Alchemizing the sickening yellow of loathing into a charcoal lump of regret. After all, charcoal is useful.
I spoke to you yesterday and you said the same things you’ve always said, writhing in the snow, head bleeding. All the while insisting you’re fine.
The dog pulled out his stitches. Again. Reopening the wound that never healed.
The movement from last month’s Strawberry Moon though the July 2nd New Moon Eclipse in Cancer, culminating in another Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn, the Full Thunder Moon, on July 16th, could be described as transition, but this year, it is more like a wake up call, and a hard one at that.
Thunder is the voice of the Gods, perfecting those in heaven and devastating those in hell. There is a choice, a reckoning, to face the revelations that eclipses bring and choose to release old patterns in favor of our own health and spirit. The process of leaving patterns and structures that no longer serve is sustained and guided by trust. This trust knows we are headed in a more sustainable direction and that we must adhere to the mandates of our own metabolism.
Taking care of others before we take care of ourselves is not taking care of anyone. We can not be our most lucid and patient selves without the fortification of appropriate boundaries and physical health.
This period of time is an opportunity for change. We are still in the energy of the “blessing in disguise” from last month, to the extent that beginning on July 7th with Mercury, seven celestial bodes will turn retrograde. Although this may feel inconvenient, even painful to some, this is a gift of slowing down, of catching our breath. This is the time to surrender.
Thunder is a profound discharge of energy. This Full Moon brings that violence in order to liberate us from fruitless narratives cluttering our past and reminding us that we already know the way.
The upright Six of Swords reiterates and affirms the message of the Thunder Moon: this is a rite of passage. The psychological effect of the rite of passage is cognitive dissonance. This is an uncomfortable state triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person. When confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, we try to find ways to resolve the contradiction, to reduce discomfort.
The wisdom of the cards, however, tells us that the highest human potential is a state in which we learn to live in the mystery. We do this through faith, surrender, hope, and curiosity. Use this as an opportunity for changing your beliefs about yourself, moving away from whom you used to be and towards whom you want to be. Do not prematurely fill this new space from a place of desperation.
The Six of Swords asks you to reflect on any emotional or mental baggage you may carry as you move from one phase to the next. Your ‘swords’ may be memories, relationships, habits, behaviors, thought patterns and beliefs that are no longer serving you. Decide what you need to take with you and what you can leave behind.
The Clod and the Pebble
by William Blake
Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”
So sung a little Clod of Clay
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:
“Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”
I’m tracing the movement from last month’s full moon, through the Gemini New Moon on June 3rd in preparation for the upcoming Strawberry Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 17th.
Follow Your Own Clock
Last month’s Full Milk Moon taught us to anchor the ecstatic birth energy of April into committed and disciplined action, with a view toward service and the greater good. We looked at how our behaviors and activities succeeded or fell short of our intentions when we examined our priorities. The lesson that emerged became about listening to our own body-clock and our own metabolism and resisting the pull, the undertow, of other people’s expectations, status, and the illusions of progress and productivity instilled by a capitalist economy. The message came in a vision of motion: RISE. This was contrasted to the image of moving forward.
Bring Order to Chaos
This month, we moved through a confusion-generating New Moon in Gemini. This New Moon brought intellectual and mental activity as well as multiple opportunities or possible paths forward. This activity generated enthusiasm perhaps bordering on anxiety. Thankfully the Full Moon in Sagittarius anchors that multiplicity and gives us the opportunity to refocus our minds and actions. The Sagittarius symbols, the arrow and the archer, help keep us aligned with our original birth-purpose associated with the Full Egg Moon back in April. This Moon brings reassessment, re-evaluation. It considers the commitments and actions of this new life we’ve been given, as well as the earthly temptations that form the shadow-side of those engagements. It considers the many paths the intellect generates and offers. Yet the Sagittarius arrow reminds us of our sure course, our purpose. This arrow is the intuition that connects us back to our birth-decision. This original decision is called by various names: God, Holy Spirit, Inner Voice, Soul, Conscience, even Confidence. This arrow directs the many decisions we must face in the spirit of our origin.
Receive (or surrender to) the Fruits of your Labor
The symbols of this month’s Full Moon, Honey, Strawberries, and the Rose, are all symbols of a kind of bounty. In the Catholic mythology, Strawberries represent good fruits of the righteous man. A rose bush was said to have grown at the site of Christ’s death. The rose also symbolizes hope, new beginnings and balance. Honey suggests the sweet reward of unified work and communal focus (this image harkens way back to the divination from April: the Three of Pentacles). Last month we focused our commitments through disciplined action and we are starting to see the fruits.
The divination for this month, The Star, reversed, can be summed up simply as the “blessing in disguise.” The card suggests that there is a collective feeling of overwhelm, perhaps because of that Gemini New Moon. Our faith is being tested by “fruits” that we do not see as the sweet strawberries or honey promised as a return for our disciplined actions. We are questioning our path and our confidence in our intuition because we can’t find the “evidence” we want, the confirmations are not coming at the pace of our expectations. The lesson of the Star is to view the “fruits” we are granted as the gifts that keep us on course. Things do not always appear as we expect. It is a call to shift perspective.
Finally, the Star reversed calls us to re-connect with our intuition through meditation, rest, and our connection with nature. This is essential to ensure we are aligned with our purpose. This divination illuminates our relationship at this time with the Sagittarius Archer: we must nurture ourselves so that our arrows can be swift and sure.
Faith is the True Perspective
Implicit in the New Moon in Gemini is a restlessness of mind that needs to be relieved by a renewed clarity of the Sagittarius arrow. As we move through life we accomplish goals and we create new ones. This Moon reminds us to align those new goals with our highest purpose illuminated by our intuitive voice. The Star reversed encourages us to keep the faith.
This time calls us to move forward in earthly action, committed to and guided by our higher calling, defined through April’s decisive, full moon. There will be the temptations of the ego, selfishness, and overly analytical thinking pulling us back as we attempt to commit the ecstatic energy of rebirth into focused practice. Fear and lack of clarity cling to the self that died in order to be reborn under last month’s powerful Egg Moon. The antidote comes in this Flower Moon, this Milky abundance: self-discipline and service.
May 4th 2019
The new moon can bring strong emotions— and the opportunity to reflect on them. It is a time for new beginnings, when the moon is emptied out and ready to receive. This is the time for intention setting. Use the prompts below to track the Taurus energy this month.
Goals: Here is a list of Taurus-themed goals to capitalize on the month’s energy in order to bring awareness and cement intentions for release and manifestation. Aim to accomplish at least two by the Scorpio Full Moon on May 18th. Keep a journal of your success!
- Practice Patience! Bring awareness to everyday circumstances, ones you might ordinarily face with impatience. Instead practice patience through breath and kindness.
- Enjoy simple, physical pleasures such as food and movement.
- Practice good stewardship over your material belongings as acts of living in abundance.
- Re-allocate time instead of money.
- Slow down. Stop and smell the roses. Become in touch with your own body’s clock.
- Practice perseverance.
- Discover your own personal desires.
- Donate time or money to a charitable cause.
Practice Taurus Awareness:
As an earth sign, Taurus is grounded in sensual, material pursuits. However, without the guidance of Spirit, these themes become unhinged and no longer serve our highest good. Let the earthly actions of Taurus support the commitments of our prime decisions.
With the new moon in Taurus, set an intention to pay attention to the things that bring up issues of self-worth, patience, materialism, and stubbornness.
Keep a journal:
- I felt un-worthy (stubborn, avaricious, impatient, scarcity) when . . .
- I felt this way because . . .
- An alternative narrative . . .
Write up to 10 intentions for this new moon in the spirit of Taurus energy. Articulate your intentions in the first person. Use positive and growth-oriented statements. Taurus energy rules sensuality, contentment, perseverance, patience, self-worth, handling money, and releasing stubbornness. Examples of Taurus intention setting:
My self-care practices bring awareness to the abundance in which I live.
I am aware of my body’s clock, not an external timetable dictating expectations and goals.
The Tarot revelation for the preparation of this month’s Full Moon Gathering, while at first a surprise, soon settled into sense on multiple levels and relevance for many close to me. The primary card, the Two of Swords depicts a woman, blindfolded, under the moon, in front of the water. Her choices are weighing equally upon her. On what grounds should she decide? She requires light, the removal of the blindfold. This light can be interpreted as intellect and clarity. She will also need to marshal her intuition, represented by the moon, prominent above her.
April’s Egg Moon symbolizes renewal and rejuvenation. It is important to reflect on where we are coming from in this transition from one moon to the next, in order to embody and contextualize the change. Last month’s Worm Moon thaw prepared for the coming of the egg. It readied the ground. The theme of the Worm Moon was chaos, a primordial and undifferentiated state. Like the ancient cosmic egg, this moon signifies the imminence of light, not yet manifest. It is the first movement out of the chaos, but still a sort of suspension, a period of interiority before fully entering the world. We are in SUPERPOSITION. Possibilities abound. This is the image of the Two of Swords.
Sometimes we intentionally choose not to see aspects of the decisions we face, or perhaps we don’t have all of the information. Sometimes, information is kept from us through deceit. Alternately, there is only one force that changes the egg from potential to actual: Consciousness. Consciousness, or awareness, is the spiritual catalyst that paradoxically separates and connects us to the external world. The superposition collapses into one or another of the possible definite states.
The indecision reflected in the Two of Swords is resolved only with awareness. It is the moon – intuition – that makes way for birth.
There are two cards which further define the poles, or swords, considered by the Two of Swords. The two forces that must unite or yield for the hatching of the egg.
On the one hand, the Six of Wands reversed suggests having reached a significant development in personal growth, but this is a private success, not ready for sharing with the world. To move towards the Full Moon, we must ask, “Why am I resistant to share at this time?”
This is a card about developing your own definition of success, not comparing yourself to others or seeking approval from outside of yourself. To move forward, we must ask, “What does success look like for me?”
At times, the reversed Six of Wands suggests that you did not receive the public recognition you were seeking. There may be disappointment, discouragement, or expectations that were in some other way not met. This discouragement may have affected you more deeply, wounding your confidence or feelings of worthiness. If a particular project has not been as successful as you had hoped, you may be better off moving to a new environment so you can rebuild your personal brand rather than trying to fix something already broken.
Beware of EGO, the shadow side of this card.
The other sword, balanced in contemplation, is illuminated in the Three of Pentacles. This card represents collaboration and the first steps towards implementation. It is about manifesting that vision of success (provided in the contemplation of the Six of Wands) with the help of others who may be more experienced, but more importantly, who offer different and complementary skills.
This card suggests there is a long road ahead toward the building of a timeless and ambitious structure, but it encourages you along the path by affirming the personal growth and developments present in the Six of Wands. The image of the Cathedral in the card suggests the goal, structure, or purpose aimed for is aligned with one’s highest purpose, and beyond the individual good. This card encourages patience, planning, and collaboration, but the assurance that you have an indispensable role, which you are already underway in playing.
The work of this month is a navigation between the self and others in service of a both deeply personal, yet higher cause. It is the very call to be born, an integration that resolves the tension between the one and the many. The consciousness that cracks the cosmic egg.