Moving Toward the Cold Moon

This full moon in Gemini certainly carries the metaphorical fullness of culmination that attends each cycle, perhaps because it is the final full moon not only of this year, but also of the decade. It reaches peak fullness on Dec. 12 at 12:13 a.m. EST, however it will rise around 4:18 pm. on Dec. 11 for observers on the U.S. East Coast.

Kay Nielsen

The fullness of this moon may feel overwhelming, with a particular kind of stop and start energy. As the momentous decade comes to a close, there have been many revelations and moments of reckoning making sure we close out this period in full awareness of the patterns and stories we will not be taking into the future. This feeling of revelation is matched by an inability to yet synthesize it’s full meaning. There has been space created by our broken patterns, this can be a terrain of fear, aka the unknown. It is also a space of mystery. The attitude best suited to this time is one of curiosity and adventure. The synthesis of meaning is a creative act requiring all of our restored and healed capacities that this year has prepared us for. It is a kind of story telling created in practice and commitment and 2020 will bring that next chapter. In the meantime, we can become comfortable with this twilight between past and future. This is a characteristic the airy and dual Gemini spirit.

Shannon Berberich @moonowlholllow

The divination for this final full moon of the year recognizes this twilight of the unknown and asks us to reclaim our strength and the conviction of our own true voice, last month’s discernment, in order to manifest our authority in 2020.

What characterizes the transition from last month’s Beaver Moon to this Cold Moon?

The tower reversed is the card of inner transformation and upheaval. In other words, this transition is characterized by transition itself. We have awakened spiritually and that is not always a comfortable place because it means an overthrow of the ego, or of our identity. The ego desperately grasps for the familiar and resists the unknown with it’s whole being, because the unknown can mark a kind of ego death.

What are we leaving behind?

In order to face our own mysteries, we are given Strength reversed. We are asked to leave self-doubt in the past. This includes the setbacks, injuries, and narratives that support and nurture feelings of lack or unworthiness. We are called instead to nurture our history of resilience. We must nurture our ongoing commitment to ourselves and focus on our triumphant stories in order to continue to heal those aspects of ourselves and in so doing, to live in our confidence.

Approach the mystery of your life with the curiosity it deserves. You are your own wonder, or in the words of @Undakova, “Perhaps You are the miracle.”

What are we moving toward?

Christmas Eve  –  L.Birge Harrison

As a symbol of intellectual power and authority The King of Swords implies the new clarity you will both discover and create as you courageously move into the new year. The Kind of Swords marshals the discernment of last month and elevates it. His confidence allows for authority and instills confidence in others so that he may make his discernment manifest. This is the card of truth. The ingredients are courage of conviction, inner knowing or discernment which requires the spiritual health to be in alignment, and finally the confidence and intellect required to manifest that inner energy into the world.

The Kind of Swords is the card of speaking your truth, a complex spiritual journey which 2019, and indeed this entire decade, has prepared you for.

Sometimes the dark is the light. You are ready! XO

Moving Toward the Hunter’s Moon

Last month, we reaped the fruits of the year’s labor. We were graced with new awareness from another year of experience. We learned to identify and honor our boundaries and in so doing, we refined our intimate contacts no longer distracted by diversions and acquaintances, but rather focused on kindred spirits. We now are choosing to spend time with those people who share our values and help to inspire and energize our personal path towards alignment and our highest good.

What defines this month’s transition from the Harvest Moon to the Hunter’s Moon?

The Seven of Pentacles governs this movement from last month’s moon toward this month’s Hunter’s moon in Aries on October 13th. This card is the perfect way to receive last’s month’s harvest. It is about sitting back to take in the big picture. It reminds us to assess the harvest. What should we consume? What should we discard? What should we invest? What should we save? This card reminds us to take a long term view and in so doing, we should be strategic about where to invest our energy going forward. We have to honor our boundaries not just in relationships, but in all work. Where are we encountering discomfort? How can we work more efficiently to ensure we continue moving in an intentional direction.

What are we leaving behind?

The reversed Three of Swords directs us to let go of negative thought patterns that keep us from moving out of harmful cycles of behavior and relationships. We are called to become aware of the negative thoughts we inflict upon ourselves so that we can remove, or soften their influence as we invest energy going forward. In order to honor the boundaries we encounter, we must let go of the negative thoughts that would have us give way to activities or people that don’t serve that big picture view we’ve seen for ourselves. In order to best invest our energy, we need discernment. Discernment is only clouded when we self-sabotage through unconscious, negative self-talk. Sometimes this card indicates an external negativity, grief, or sadness. This card calls us to let that go as well. Letting go can be a complicated process, but likely involves shifting the narratives that keep that pain alive and trading them for more complex versions where we can bring peace to ourselves and forgiveness to others.

What are we moving towards?

Temperance is the card of equanimity. It tells us not to push or pull, but simply to be in the flow of our own lives by choosing faith in our path and purpose. It asks us to use patience and calm as our tools for remaining steadfast on the path we have seen for ourselves. Taking the long view requires commitment and this card shows us what will enable us to make that commitment. It encourages us to seek peace and moderation as we take our time to reach the goals and implement the vision we are now defining.

The Hunter knows what he is after and is defined by the focused act of going after that object. He is methodical and strategic. This full moon falls in the sign of Aries, bringing exuberance and energy to our purposeful work.

Moving Towards the Sturgeon Moon

Every month I research the moon. I keep expecting to “arrive” at some point, but the overall message is one of transition. Although we think of the Full Moon as a state of being, it is just part of all movement. Despite this, I was a bit frustrated when I drew the Six of Swords this month to describe the movement to the Sturgeon Moon on August 15th. It is the card of transition, of moving away from patterns, behaviors, and people that no longer serve our best interest. The transition signified by this card is more than just simple change, it often rises to the status of a rite of passage. It marks the end of a chapter, even a death, and the beginning of something new. Isn’t this in some way, the nature of all full moons?

What are we leaving behind this month?

We are leaving behind father figures and masculine authority: The Emperor. We are leaving behind patriarchy and it’s corresponding values. The patriarchy is a system of values more than it is men in power. The Emperor represents status, power, and recognition. These are all signposts of the Ego. These values exist internally to varying degrees in each of us, which enables them to manifest in larger cultural and political spheres.

These values often play out in the most intimate arenas of our lives: our relationships. The appearance of this card calls on us to examine they ways that patriarchal values operate in our relationships with other people.

What are we moving towards?

The reversed King of Cups suggests it’s not an easy road ahead. It is time to move towards balance in the emotions and unconscious. It is time to heal these elements in ourselves in order to move into a new system of values. This healing requires honoring of one’s boundaries. Boundaries reveal themselves in the form of turbulent emotion. When we lose our equilibrium or the ability to be our best selves in any given situation or relationship, that is a gift from our unconscious. It is the gift of revelation: here is a boundary. Honor it. This is not something that must be created, willed, or justified to others. Honoring boundaries is a path to spiritual health. This is the path to honoring the others’ boundaries and to regaining emotional equilibrium.

The reversed King of Cups warns us against repressing emotions and against withdrawal. It also warns agains abusive influences. Perhaps these are people who are vindictive, or who leave you with self-doubt or emotional instability. This card paves the way forward by releasing from these kinds of controlling influences. The answer is boundaries.

Kindred Spirits

Last month’s Thunder Moon introduced the notion of boundaries as a refinement of solidarity (the concept from January’s corresponding full Wolf Moon.) This month pushes forward with this movement, replacing the idea of simple friendship in favor of the kindred spirit. The difference between the friend and the kindred spirit is one of values. Values is what creates unity in solidarity. When two are bound in relation because of their faith and love for a third thing. That third thing must be value, a structure, a God. (Read more on limits, boundaries, and commitments from Wendell Berry. This interview came out for last month’s Thunder moon, as part of the confluence of energy around these concepts.)

Moving Toward the Thunder Moon

Yamamoto Masao –
Gelatin silver print with mixed media

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.

Unidentified artist, Running Before the Storm – Museum of Fine Arts Boston

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.

Thunderstorm at Tateishi
Takahashi Hiroaki (Japan 1871-1945)

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.

Monthly Divination

Six of Swords

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.

Masao Yamamoto

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.” 

Moving Toward the Strawberry Moon

Rose and Skull Pile by Sonia Romero

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.

Arctic Cod and Strawberry Pile by Sonia Romero

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.

Monthly Divination

The Star – Reversed

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.