Healing with Moonlight

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Full Moons can be busy times. If you’re feeling tired and a bit off balance, you may be suffering from “energy retention,” a condition much like water retention (which is also common during Full Moons). With energy retention, the currents or flows in your field seem to expand without actually going anywhere. It can feel like you just ate a big meal, stuffed and lethargic. If you find yourself in this condition, there’s a simple remedy: Fill your inner self with moonlight.  It has the power to calm soothe and dissolve the tension.

Your imagination and your breath are all that you need.  As you draw breath inward, imagine that moonlight is also drawing into the internal spaces of your body. It helps to do this slowly.  If you have an area of your body that’s congested, in pain, or otherwise weakened, draw moonlight here.  Another  great practice is to fill your feet with this healing light.  Your feet represent precious soul space in your body.  They have connections with every other part of your body’s temple.  Bring moonlight into your feet and notice how the entire inner space gets charged. Or just keep filling yourself.  Draw the light all the way to the top of your head.  Do whatever will be most healing for you now.  Let the mind cool.

Filling with this wonderful medicine while you’re bathing  in outer moonlight usually improves the experience–but sometimes the energy is too much. Experiment. Is this practice more profound if you’re outdoors or indoors? Be sure to notice how you feel before your moon-working.  Notice how you feel after.  Move slowly. Allow the energy to find its natural flow again.

Full Moons are a traditional time for contemplation. But there are many ways to do Moon practice. More is available in my monthly Moon Workshop:  info and enrollment here!

Drink the Full Moon

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If somebody sold Moon Water in my town, sales would be brisk. Ashland Oregon is abundant with individuals who genuinely revere the Divine Feminine and believe in the powers of subtle energies. And while quite a few of us actually dance under the Full Moon, many more of us, unfortunately, simply dance with the idea of doing it, and most months, we’re even too busy for that. Hence: the attractiveness of purchasing Moon Water. Imagine, having Moon Water in an elegant yet handy spray bottle, so that throughout the day, we could mist our feet, hands, face, and heart with the healing touch of the Moon. At night we could mist our pillows to draw soothing or illuminating dreams. With Moon Water we could charge our crystals. We could brew psychic teas. We could revive ailing pets and house plants.

But alas, Moon Water has not yet hit our shelves. So it is only during those months when we are so fully in tune with the Feminine that we’re able to use this exquisite opportunity each Full Moon brings, not only to charge a jar of spring water, but also to enchant ourselves. While making time to do this is difficult, the procedure itself is simple.

Pour purified water into a glass jar. Place it outside in the moonlight. Stand there awhile. Feel into the moonlight. Close your eyes. Imagine that the Moon is descending and has become a glowing orb just inches above the crown of your head. Feel how the Moon’s light now enters your body, nourishing each of your chakras, filling your cells.

Once you’re filled with the sense of the Moon, open your eyes. Slowly and lovingly circle your right hand in a clockwise direction over the water, nine times. Then do the same with your left hand, counter-clockwise, nine times. After that, over the jar, form a triangle with the index fingers and thumbs of both hands. Into the center of the triangle, pour your gratitude for the gift the Moon is bringing you.

Then wait a minute or two. You may or may not receive a message, perhaps an image, a word, or a sensation. After you feel complete, rub your hands together and shake them out. Leave the bottled water out all night, but retrieve it early in the morning, before it’s touched by the Sun’s rays.

Lunar Eclipse Soother: Sleeping Goddess

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It’s an eclipse and the first full moon of spring. Some full moons are slow, rich and sonorous, making it easy for us to slip into meditation and communion.  But a lunar eclipse is more electric and unstable.  Plus, at the beginning of a season, the weather is still changing and changeable. Our bodies are still adjusting.  Full moons are a great time to drop into the divine feminine, but how to do that when it’s too cold to sit under the moon comfortably–or maybe the temperature is fine, but it’s cloudy?

Here’s a lovely indoor full moon practice that begins as you drift off to sleep. We’ll use imagination as our mind hack–a simple technology to alter consciousness and merge our with mother moon.  We could close our eyes and imagine a luminous moon–but when our image doesn’t have eyes or a mouth, it’s hard for the subconscious to connect with the living quality of the deity. So we imagine her as a woman, in a pose that’s safe and relaxed. I’ve often used the Sleeping Goddess of Malta, but lately I like this earthy contemporary sleeping goddess pictured above, from the Lost Gardens of Heligan, England.  Note that both goddesses are sleeping on their right side.  The pose is meant to advise us. When we lie on our right side, we energize our moon channel, empowering it to do the moon’s nightly chores while we sleep.

Try this experiment. Use your imagination to reach the goddess on the night of the full moon. First, see her floating in front of you. Once the sense of that image feels alive and stable, let it grow bigger, then merge with it, so that you and the goddess are now one. Don’t worry about how this happens, just allow it to happen. Let your thoughts merge with hers. Surrender into her body as you drift off to sleep.

During an eclipse, many of us are kept awake by the wild energy in the atmosphere. Collecting that energy into this sleeping form is an effective way to tame excited Shakti.  Imagine yourself as a sleeping goddess, rising and falling with the world breath.  Notice if you feel your system calming down as you do this.

 

How to Stand Under the Full Moon

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This simple trick was long hidden from me:  how to stand properly underneath the Moon. For much of my adult life, I’ve stood awkwardly under Luna, trying to lasso her with my modern mind, from the neck up, vaguely wanting something more than I was getting, but feeling nothing special. It was the same as if I were standing next to an automobile or some other object. Then sometime, as is true—when the time was right—after years of trying, I stumbled into it: a way of standing under the Moon that felt sensitive and satisfying. No mumbo jumbo necessary. That’s because thinking about it–even beautiful concepts like the Moon is earth’s oldest temple holding the potency of countless prayers since the dawn of time–doesn’t help. You have to sink your awareness lower than mind: this is what it means to get naked under the Moon.  It’s a relaxed and spacious state. Once you locate it, you can snap into it again, instantly. And just as easily, you can snap out. So that’s the value of this universal spiritual act: The Moon becomes a bell whose ringing brings you into the field of the Mother, where body and soul can quietly drink. But don’t think about it. Just enjoy.

Let 2016 become the year of the Moon for you! Join my monthly Moon Workshop here

Merry Full Moon Christmas Solstice

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It’s the first Christmas Full Moon in forty years! This won’t happen again until December 2034. People get excited about rare celestial events. But I’ve seen a few of them come and go. To me it seems the greater rarity now is any moment when a human fully meets the sky. Even if a Full Moon occurred every year on Christmas, what matters is how you meet it this time. Pause your busy or mournful or joyful life and connect with the power of the Sun–for even Christmas has its pagan roots–in a major solar event that also occurs this week: Solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun is standing still (hence “solstice”) at its southernmost point on the horizon. It is the longest night of the year when we are invited to turn from our cold mysteries to face the bright warmth of new possibilities. The days will soon get longer and the nights will get shorter. Gardens will grow, and so will our lives.

So you have options for celebration this week. Aside from family traditions, you can also find a quiet moment to stand or sit still.  You may want to mark your entrance into a more ritual space by lighting a candle (or a fireplace or a favorite lamp). Be sure to treat yourself to some “Sun food.” This is a magical treat that symbolizes the power of the Sun. You’ll take it in at the ritual’s climax. Sun cookies–anything round and yellow—will do (here’s one recipe). Lately I’ve fallen in love with greens–kales, lettuces, chard–as a juiced blend of their chloryphy1l is the closest thing to liquid sunshine. Be the alchemist as you prepare what’s right for you. As you gather the ingredients, meditate on your experience of the past ninety days.

Your ritual moment will be whatever length of interval you can give yourself without expectations–when you have absolutely nothing else to do. Nowhere to go, nothing to get, no one to satisfy. Approach your altar (or your fireplace or your table with your favorite lamp), declare a circle of sacred space. Call in the elements, the snow-capped mountains, the exhilarating winds, the roaring hearth fire, the healing warmth of a fragrant bubble bath. Light your candle or lamp. Turn so that your back faces the altar and the light is now behind you. Close your eyes and feel into the dark. Notice whatever sensations or emotions this brings. Savor it as your experience, your singular expression of the world soul at this unrepeatable moment. Do not judge it. Sink into it. And when you feel ready, turn to the light. Open your arms and draw the energy of the light into your heart. Offer your profound thanks to the Sun, the source of light, life and energy on this planet. Ask the Sun to bless you with health, creativity, and love in the coming days. Eat your Sun food. Savor this thrilling experience of light! When you’re complete, bow to the candle or lamp. Thank the elements and dissolve the sacred circle into a mist of protection that surrounds you as you re-enter the world. Extinguish the candle.

For the Southern Hemisphere, for whom the days will be getting shorter, reverse the imagery. Start with symbols or images evoking the abundance of the garden. Begin facing the altar. Celebrate the experience of warmth and light as the Sun is at its strongest. When you are ready, turn so that your back is to the light. Close your eyes and contemplate the coming darkness. Feel into it. When you are ready, with eyes still closed, eat your Sun food.

Life’s Editing Ritual: Green Fire

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I usually perform this ritual while the Sun is transiting Scorpio, yet a long month of Saturn transits has slowed my rhythm some.  But I’m ready for a little Green Fire practice now.  Maybe you are too.

The Green Fire ritual is a powerful way to clear psychic congestion.  It signals your subconscious that you’re ready, willing, and eager to release the past and again move on, into a better version of your life. The woman who introduced me to this practice likes to do it four times a year, once each season. I was feeling particularly stuck the year I learned of it, so I bought salt, alcohol, a large cast iron pot, and dutifully performed the ritual on a dark Moon, for three months in a row. The results were oddly spectacular. Without much drama or fanfare, my inner world  began rapidly shifting. I was inspired to make new decisions that ultimately transformed my outer world. Changes I’d needed to make for what seemed like a lifetime, suddenly got easy.

Do the Green Fire practice whenever  you’re feeling stuck or burdened. It’s especially potent now, when the Moon is waning (from Full Moon up to the next New Moon). The ritual is simple to do. First finagle some solitude and focus on what you’d like to release. This can be specific (“I’d like to release my anger at Jim”) or general (“I’d like to release whatever is holding me back.”). You can aim to let go of a lot or a little, whatever feels right for you. Just be sure to write down each thing you’re releasing. (I like to write each item on a small piece of paper; this makes for excellent kindling to throw into the fire.)  Then get a cast iron pot, line it with foil, add two cups of Epsom salts, and cover the salt with rubbing alcohol. When you’re ready, light it with a long match and stand back. One at a time, throw in the pieces of paper on which you’ve written what you’re letting go of.

Of course, do this safely!  I place my pot in the center of an outdoor fire pit, with lid and water at the ready.  If you like your rituals more theatrical, you can dress up, recite poetry, bang drums, or dance while the fire is burning. If you want additional power, call in the ancestors, protectors and archetypal powers before you begin and thank them when you’re done. I like my ritual simple: just the fire, the pieces of paper, and all the energy that’s being released.

It works.

Quick and Easy Transformation Meditation

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Here’s a 3-minute imagination exercise that can reboot your psyche for the season. It draws from the power of Scorpio’s Phoenix, that mythical bird of radiant plumage who, when cremated on a funeral pyre, rose from the ashes into new life. We all have this soul capacity. If you’ve ever experienced loss and difficulty and survived to smile and laugh again, you have an inner Rainbow Bird.  Even without loss and difficulty, you can summon its magic now.  Is there some area in your life where you sense a growing pressure to change? Perhaps it’s in relationship or maybe your creative projects are demanding you go deeper.  Your life may be requiring a new quality of you: assertive courage, instead of resigned acceptance–or grace instead of reactivity.  Perhaps it’s just a problem you’d like to dissolve.

Whatever change you’d like to see, much can be accomplished in just three minutes with your imagination. Images have psychic power. They communicate to your unconscious, the architect of your moods and nightly dreams. To ignite your own transformation, imagine constructing a funeral pyre, so that it hovers in the space in front of you. This pyre is for whatever you want to release. Choose a symbol for this part of your life. Draw or write the word on a piece of paper. Crumple it up. Then toss it into the imaginary fire.

Close your eyes and watch what unfolds with your inner vision. See how at first the fire flames high. Keep watching. After a while it burns low, ashes are forming. Notice that beneath the ashes, something colorful and radiant is emerging. See a resplendent new being, winging its way into the future, regenerated and reborn. Notice how watching this bird in flight makes you feel. Let the sensations of upward movement soak into your psyche.

 

Why I don’t care about “Blue Moons”

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A Full Moon is considered “blue” when it’s the second Full Moon in a month, a phenomenon occurring approximately once every two to three years, which may or may not be rare enough to deserve its cliche, “once in a blue Moon.”  You won’t find much lore about Blue Moons in ceremonial history. That’s because they’re man-made, not Moon made. Luna has never given us two Full Moons in one cycle and never will.  Blue Moons are simply a gift (or curse) of the Western calendar, which is alas, disconnected from the natural cycles of the Sun and Moon.

It’s a modern Moon holiday that actually arose out of a misunderstanding. One of the first to write about Blue Moons was James Hugh Pruett, who defined them in a 1946 article in Sky & Telescope as the second Full Moon in a month. The trouble is, his source was the Maine Farmers’ Almanac, which when fact-checked by Phillip Hiscock for a 1999 Sky & Telescope piece, revealed that Pruett had gotten it wrong. The Maine Farmers’ Almanac used the term to describe the fourth Full Moon in a season.  This is a different celestial event.  At least this definition is based on the natural calendar. Although I’m still not sure what we should make of having four Full Moons in a season instead of the usual three.

Honestly, the only reason I think the culture still cares about Blue Moons is that hauntingly beautiful Elvis song.  If there’s a sacred ceremony that’s appropriate for this lunar holiday, it should definitely include sitting in moonlight while playing that Elvis song. (And now, with so many digital resources, you have no reason not to.)

So, of this confused modern thing called a Blue Moon, you can make whatever you want. It’s a great excuse for a Moon watching party.  Just remember–the best way to make this or any Full Moon special is really quite simple. Just give yourself and the Moon some time and honest attention. If you missed the first Full Moon of this month, you get another chance to nourish yourself tonight. And that may be an especially good idea with Venus retrograde. Passions and confusion are easily roused these days.

The Moon is Full and Venus is retrograde—the perfect time to connect with your inner goddess. Try my “Your Venus Unleashed” report!  I’m running a retrograde special for $10 off 50+ pages about your Venus.  To get the discount, after you submit your name and birth data, you’ll reach the payment page. Select the $35 “Venus report for a friend” payment button on checkout.   Click here!

Standing Under the Full Moon

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For years this terma escaped me. For most of my life I’ve stood awkwardly under the Full Moon, trying to lasso it with my factory mind, from the neck up, vaguely wanting something from it, and feeling unsuccessful. Then sometime, as is true—when the time was right—after years of trying, I stumbled into it: a way of standing under the Moon that felt sensitive and satisfying. No mumbo jumbo necessary. That’s because thinking about it–even beautiful concepts like the Moon is earth’s oldest temple holding the potency of countless prayers since the dawn of time–doesn’t help. You have to sink your awareness lower than mind: this is what it means to get naked under the Moon.  It’s a relaxed and spacious state. Once you locate it, you can snap into it again, instantly. And just as easily, you can snap out. So that’s the value of this universal terma: The Moon becomes a bell whose ringing brings you into the field of the Mother, where body and soul can quietly drink. But don’t think about it. Just enjoy.

The Sleeping Goddess

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It’s the last Full Moon before Spring arrives.  The weather is changing and changeable. Our bodies are adjusting to the coming season.  But maybe it’s still too cold  to sit under the Moon. Or the temperature is fine, but it’s cloudy. Here’s a lovely indoor Full Moon practice that begins as you drift off to sleep. The Moon of course is not just that round orb in the sky, she is the Great Mother. She lives within us always, but is especially close during Full Moons.  The picture above is a replica of the Sleeping Goddess of Malta, about whom history knows little, but your subconscious may already know her.  On the night of the Full Moon, surrender into the great body of this Goddess as you drift off to sleep. It’s not unusual to have a little Full Moon insomnia. Many of us are kept awake by the energy, but collecting it into this sleeping form is a wonderful way to tame the excited Shakti.  Imagine yourself as a sleeping goddess, rising and falling with the world breath.

If you lie on your right side as the Goddess of Malta does, you’ll energize your Moon channel, empowering it to do the Moon’s nightly chores while you sleep.

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