“Nothing is in the mind, that is not first in the senses.”

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.

Please find more tarot insights here.

Snow Moon Creative Workshop

Takahashi Shōtei (Hiroaki) (Japan, 1871-1945) – Winter Moon , Japan, before 1936 – Color woodblock print

What: A 90 minute workshop designed to  enhance intuition, connect to natural cycles, and enhance creativity.

When:  February 17, 1pm – 3pm, Full Snow Moon

Where: Morristown, NJ (details to follow upon registration)

Please join us for February’s Full Moon, the Snow Moon, to exercise our intuitive capacities and to co-create Lunar Mythologies. This workshop, designed as part of a monthly series, will heighten intuitive awareness and create clarity by collectively aligning our focus with the cycle of the moon and with the Snow Moon’s unique symbolism. In bypassing daily modes of thought and communication, we will find renewed sources of connection, creativity, and insight.

In this 90 minute workshop, we will practice a series of exercises based on guided meditations, repetitive actions, and process-based material strategies. These practices begin with an internal focus and move toward outward awareness and focused communal attention.

Through the exercises in the workshop, we will produce texts and images. These will be collected and published as a monthly manual. Each manual will contain within it the instructions for future manuals as well as all of the texts and images produced in this workshop. Each manual will also form part of an aggregate manual, the ongoing and collaborative Lunar Mythologies. This work will be published periodically by Female Background, digitally, in print, or both.

 

Tickets available via Eventbrite, or find more on Facebook.

Manual for Observers of the Wolf Moon

Full PDF

 

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

POST TRUTH INVOCATION OF REALITY:

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.

 

DEFINITIONS:

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

 

COMMON NOTIONS:

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

TRANSLATIONS:

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

 

PSYCHOMETRIC PROCESSING:

SOLIDARITY

Care.

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

Freedom.

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.

 

DRAWINGS:

CLOSING:

“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