Manual for Observers of the Wolf Moon

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This Manual for Observers of the Wolf Moon serves as a guide for the creation of Wolf Moon ceremonies. It also bears witness to a particular Wolf Moon gathering on January 20, 2019 in Harlem, New York. It unfolds in parts for contemplation and practice. This manual is part 1 of the 12 part Lunar Mythologies, a companion for the observation of the Full Moon throughout the year.

Print version available here. 

Lunar Mythologies: Part 1, Wolf Moon


WOLF MOON – January 2019, Harlem, NY


August 2016, 2 years and 5 months ago: Lunar Eclipse in Aquarious

New discoveries and relationships will send you on a special mission to find plans for a brighter future.

August 2016, 2 years and 5 months ago: Lunar Eclipse in Aquarious

Through darkened space I headed towards glowing light.  People worked keeping the fire alive, the floor was concrete and the expanse of space seemingly limitless. The fire’s glow could not illuminate the outer reaches of sight, perhaps that was because we were outside. Perhaps in the woods. This fire was contained in an anagama the size of a long hut. The anagama is an ancient type of single chamber pottery kiln.  The single chamber, built in a sloping tunnel shape, means there is no separation between the pottery and the firebox. A continuous supply of firewood is thrown into the hot kiln and consumed very rapidly. Stoking occurs around the clock. The process produces fly ash. It produces volatile salts. Wood ash settles on the pieces during the firing, and the complex interaction between flame, ash, and the minerals of the clay body forms a natural ash glaze. This shows a great variation in color, texture, and thickness, ranging from smooth and glossy to rough and sharp.

Pieces closer to the firebox may receive heavy coats of ash, or even be immersed in embers, while others deeper in the kiln may only be softly touched by ash effects. The way pieces are placed near each other affects the flame path. The appearance of pieces within localized zones of the kiln can vary as well, taking on similarities based on region.

The potter must imagine the flame path as it rushes through the kiln, and use this sense to paint the pieces with fire.

The length of the firing may take anywhere from 48 hours to 12 or more days. The kiln takes the same amount of time to cool down. Records of historic firings in large kilns shared by several village potters describe several weeks of steady stoking per firing.

A lot can go wrong. Potters work for months, leaving their pieces to wait, in precarious fragility, for the en masse, communal firing. A bit of residual moisture or a slight aberrance in arrangement could create an explosion with reverberations throughout the kiln.  Months of work could be lost. Livelihood can depend on a single firing.

I could see people tending this fire. They threw huge rolls of cotton batting on top of the wood.  I worked with textiles, not ceramics, so I could recognize this type of fuel. Although in my work, it was generally used as insulation, layered between other pieces of stitched fabric. Then the people themselves started falling into the fire. I saw them go in, they were perhaps friends of mine. And maybe they went in, in so far as they were my friends. I imagined the flame path rushing the kiln, and could see who would become beautiful and who would perish.

August 2016, 2 years and 5 months ago: Lunar Eclipse in Aquarious:

After 95 years, my grandmother, Mary, died.

Photo @guills_free

August 2016, 2 years and 5 months ago: Lunar Eclipse in Aquarious:

I invited women, friends, into my home, an old one room schoolhouse in rural Maine, for an event called Chatter. They would tell their stories, perform their idiosyncrasies.

Chatter describes women’s speech as rapid and not very articulate, comparing the sounds and content with the noise produced by magpies, which is importunate and annoying.

Chatter is a signals intelligence term, referring to the quantity of intercepted communications. Intelligence officials monitor the quantity of communication to or from suspected parties such as terrorists or spies to determine whether there is cause for alarm. Because chatter is a measure of collective behavior, it tends to be a fairly dependable indicator.

Mass grave, photo Oxford Archaeology

August 2016, 2 years and 5 months ago: Lunar Eclipse in Aquarious:

My husband and someone I believed was my friend slept together. I left Maine for New York City and did not return until . . .

August 2017, one year and 5 months ago, Lunar Eclipse in Aquarious:

I drive to Maine from New York City with other artists’ work. Paintings and banners and razor blades and books and photographs and a so-called honeypot bound for an exhibition called Address, as in, to speak to a group. These works Address the townspeople, because chatter is a measure of collective behavior.  These works read as follows:

Shame on You Monsters

Dad’s Balls are Dad’s Business

Letting Go

Looky Look

Dust that Hides

Since Evil is a Substance, Space is a Problem

The Past is a Wilderness of Horrors, Ditto for the Future

This Is Pompeii


January 2019, Present Time, Lunar Eclipse in Leo:

The final Leo eclipse in a series that’s been striking the Leo-Aquarius axis since August 2016. In fact, the stunning Leo total solar eclipse of August 2017 was part of this same lunar thread. Stories and situations that have been developing since then could hit a surprising arc this January.

The Leo-Aquarius eclipse series is the axis of individual truth vs. collective.


January 2019, Present Time, Lunar Eclipse in Leo:

White, Catholic, teenage boys mock Omaha elder and Vietnam veteran


January 2019, Present Time, Lunar Eclipse in Leo:

My ex-husband’s ex-girlfriend, the one he left for me 24 years ago, was involuntarily committed to the behavioral health ward of a New York City hospital. It is her birthday. I’m trying to get her out. Other patients slip me notes with their names scribbled down, “Please call someone to help me, too” they whisper.

January 2019, Present Time, Lunar Eclipse in Leo:

I awaken in the sunshine behind a low stone wall and look out over a vast green field of short, dense grass. Sheep in the distance, brown hills rising behind them. I marvel at not having realized what a beautiful home I’d inhabited all along. I took pictures with my phone, but they disappeared. The field and sheep and light remained, material and well.



Wolves live, travel, and hunt in packs averaging 7 to 8 animals, with records of up to 30. Packs include the mother and father wolves, their pups and older offspring. Wolves develop strong social bonds within their packs.   Wolves are ritualistic. Wolves have excellent hearing, and under certain conditions can hear a howl as far as ten miles away.

Rituals are a series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner.

Loyalty is faithfulness.

Faith is Without question

Instinct is a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason



Repetition is impossible but we understand it none-the-less.

If it were not for the poetic, the experimental would stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round over again.

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake


The howling of wolves is a portion of eternity to great for the eye of man.

The howling of wolves is a portion of eternity to great for the eye of man.

We will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

We will not remember the words of our enemies, but the sound of our friend.


photo Bettmann archive @Gettyimages





A pink rose bush, withers for winter and dies. The ground opens up, a fiery pit of skeletons.


Under the grounding weight of comfort I sleep, surrounded, in trust, by the group.

The “sounds of our friends”.

My right hand is hotter than my left.




“A healthy Feminine is much like a wolf: robust, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. To adjoin to the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone. It means to establish territory, to find on’e pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act on one’s behalf, to be aware, alert, and draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as possible.”  from Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.

25 Wolves Howling

Approaching Home with Childlike Imagination

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There was a bathroom in my Aunt and Uncle’s house with dark colored walls and a boldly printed shower curtain. I watched my older cousin apply eyeliner in the mirror. It was so glamourous.

Sometimes colorful spaces are just around a corner, out of reach, but memory preserves the intrigue for years.

These introductions to joyful mystery remain strong.

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