What’s your journal doing right now?

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Has it been sitting on a shelf? Are its pages silent?  Gemini is THE cycle for talking and writing. And one of the best ways to do this–without risking the mischief that thinking out loud can cause–is to visit your journal  if you already have one. Or start one if you don’t .  Anne Frank is one of the world’s most famous journal keepers and not surprisingly, she had Sun, Mercury, and Jupiter in Gemini.  Whether your journal is elegant or funky or just a file on your computer—Gemini doesn’t care.  Write on scratch paper if you have to, but allow yourself the joy of stimulating your inner writer and listening to your thoughts. Discover what you didn’t know you were thinking.

Make New Moon Magic with Solarized Water

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Water is a highly sensitive medium. It can receive, hold, and transmit energy. And the Moon, of course, has a special relationship with water, as the prime mover of our inner and outer tides. Since New and Full Moons are high tide moments, doing water practices at these times can greatly increase your energetic sensitivity to the Moon. It will also give you a magical liquid for drinking, cleaning, and plant watering.  Does it really work? Try it on this Aries New Moon and see for yourself! After charging the liquid, hold the bottle or jar and tune in. Then take a drink. Do the same with a glass filled with uncharged water. You may notice a difference.

So here’s what you do: on the day after the New Moon, sometime between sunrise and noon, place a jar of purified water in the sunlight. I like to prepare the water on the night of the New Moon and leave it waiting to catch the early morning beams. Afterwards, I store the water (or natural oil for massaging its virtues into the skin) in a cool dark place until I need it. You can enhance the sign’s vibration by using colored glass or filtering the sunlight through transparent paper or silks.  Aries rules the head, face, and brain. Its solarized water will increase courage and vitality, bring victory in battle, strengthen new beginnings, and can ease depression.  To filter this water through the universally accepted color for Aries, use red.  But tune in first–is this the color you need? You may find another is more energizing, Go with it.

I always leave the water on my altar for a day–this seems to help it hold the charge. Again, try it and see for yourself. The lunation-charged water may feel more stimulating. Depending on your intuitive strengths, you may “hear” the water instead, or see colors. If you can’t sense anything at first, don’t worry. This comes with time. Just making the attempt will start to open you. With New Moon water, you may be able to sense some of the qualities of the New Moon sign—if you can’t, let your imagination help; just imagine how Aries would feel if it were water.

It’s the first New Moon of the season, which is a great time to begin my monthly Moon Workshop:  info and enrollment here!

A Little Eclipse Foot Magic

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We need grounding during eclipses. So place your bare feet on the altar of this Pisces New Moon. Traditionally, this sign rules the feet. Some ancient wise one must have seen how the soles are a doorway to the soul as it circulates through your body. Your feet are vital centers for energy flow. When you energetically plug your toes into the earth, notice what happens: you will receive a bright updraft of earth’s prana or chi. Your steadiness and delight will grow. When you massage your feet, you vitalize all organs and energetic pathways in your body. When you do this before sleep, your dreams are clearer and more peaceful. When you take care of your feet, you nurture the whole of you.

Mutable New Moon Strategy: Flow

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Sagittarius is a “mutable” sign–which means it’s the one that throws the most changes at us. Whenever the Sun transits a mutable sign, the weather can become capricious and surprising. One day it’s autumn, the next day we’re in the heart of winter, then it’s autumn again. This makes coat and sweater strategies difficult!  At the mutable New Moon, Nature is speaking to us with her dance. She says we need to likewise become more versatile and changeable.  Stay awake to the weather. Stay awake to your own shifting needs. This is the way to avoid change-of-season illnesses. With nimble, but perhaps slowing, feet, start resonating with the season’s new tempo and tune. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this likely means slowing down, getting quiet, and coming to essence.

Mutable New Moons aren’t the best cycles for initiating something new. That’s better saved for a “cardinal” New Moon–which arrives next month (January 9) with Capricorn.  Winter Solstice arrives sooner.  The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21.

 

The New Old Man in the Moon

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I feel somewhat proprietary about the archetype of the Moon—so when it’s co-opted for some odd and sentimental advertising, which gets 12 million views in a couple of days and ignites admiration and controversy across the web–I’m interested. The commercial stars a sweet little girl—perfect emblem for the innocent heart of the Moon. She represents the naked part of us that wishes to nurture and connect. In the advert, this little emblem of mother love turns her telescope to the rocky Moon above and spies a single old man sitting there, very sad. Her attempts to reach him—with post cards and arrows–fail.

Count me among the crowd perplexed at why an old man is living with such a deep depression on the Moon—a space mission gone wrong? Matt Damon’s recent achievements on Mars are still fresh in my mind. But of course the advert—for British retailer John Lewis—has its happy ending.  The girl’s wish to soothe the old man’s loneliness comes true on Christmas morning. It looks like John Lewis manages to send a wrapped package to the old man via balloons–it contains a telescope! With this, he finally sees the girl and is happy at last.

Among those who hated the commercial, many thought it was just too gloomy for Christmas.  I wondered why Saturn–the archetype behind the gloomy old man–was playing such a starring role in the Moon’s territory. I confess it had to be explained to me that the commercial was making a political point. It was raising awareness about a serious social problem-the isolation of elders. In the UK, it’s estimated that a million seniors will go a month without speaking to a single other human being.

This is a Moon message!  Though it’s laced with consumerism, the idea that we should think of other hearts at Christmastime is goddess worthy. But the old man? Ah—here’s another face of Saturn in Sagittarius.  Telescopes, arrows, advertising, and political opinions—all are emblems of Saturn in Sag.

Autumn New Moon Oiling

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Lighting candles and performing rituals is wonderful,
but celebrating the Moon with ordinary gestures can be even sweeter and more intimate.

The winds are blowing, leaves are flying, and here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re praying for rain.  It’s the Libra New Moon when Nature fills with the restless, drying qualities of air. Since we aren’t separate from Nature, we’ve become drier too. Our skin is less supple and our thoughts may fly like so many dead leaves in the wind.  No wonder Libra is about balance! We need to re-balance ourselves during this shifting time. A fine way is with a sesame oil massage. Both grounding and beautifying, it’s the perfect ritual gesture for tuning into Libra’s New Moon.

Here’s the practice: Get goddess naked. Before stepping into your bath or shower, have some cold-pressed (untreated) sesame oil available. Massage it on your face with a loving, circular motion, into your scalp too. Rub it on your feet. With nice long strokes take it up your legs. Massage your thighs, belly, curves, and breasts. Rub it into your shoulders, arms and neck.

Leave it on for a few minutes as it absorbs into the skin (I do a few standing yoga postures while I’m waiting, but you could also sing, dance, or drum your fingers). Then step into your daily bath or shower as usual. You won’t need extra soap. As your pores open, the oil is cleansing, detoxifying, and nourishing your body.  Afterwards, as you towel yourself dry, notice the difference in your skin and spirit.

Ayurvedic doctors recommend this as a daily practice, and you might like it so much, that you’ll be inspired to keep it up throughout this cycle. Sesame is a hardy plant that grows where little else can grow. Packed with nutrients that have served mankind for millennia, it’s antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. Massaging with it helps to increase circulation, calm the nerves, center the mind, soften the skin, tone the muscles, energize the spirit, and bring deeper sleep.  Just what we need to keep our balance during this first cycle of Autumn.

This is truly a Moon potion as the Moon rules both sesame seeds and your body—which suggests a wonderful contemplation during your practice. Become aware that the Goddess is in the oil—and in the beautiful body that your hands are touching.  Ahhh… what a lovely way to honor this Goddess New Moon.

If you’d like to connect to the Moon throughout the month in greater depth, if you like to journal and/or muse on your place in the celestial scheme of things, you may enjoy my enrolling in my monthly Moon workshop (by snail-mail or email). It’s designed to deepen your relationship with the primary guardians of natural time, the Sun, the Moon, the zodiac, and your inner wise one.

Taurus New Moon Darshan

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I live in a town where famous gurus often visit. I remember one particularly famous one who offered darshan — a sacred event in which one sees and is seen by a genuine divine being. Several hundred of us descended on the church, then knelt and crawled to the little rug where we offered our bent heads to her transformative touch.

I’ll admit it: I felt nothing.

But I did feel something a couple weeks later in the YMCA parking lot. As I opened my car door, a toddler appeared (his mother was standing nearby). He had the biggest bluest eyes I’d ever seen. “Washoonaym” he said. After a confused moment, I realized his meaning. “It’s Dana,” I replied, “And what’s your name?” He didn’t answer, but turned again with great enthusiasm to his mother, “It’s Dana!” He clapped his hands with glee. His mother and I smiled at each other and as I walked away, I heard him say again, “Her name is Dana!” His mother softly instructed, “You should have told her your name.”

But I was already gone… in the bliss of being touched so deeply by this little guru whose teaching was just what I needed. His giddy un-self-consciousness was like a Zen stick on my head, rousing me from the usual self-concern. It said: Forget yourself and savor life! Feel the joy of meeting everything fresh!

Now as I consider my vows for this Taurus New Moon, I wonder what it would be like to greet each stranger, everyone and everything, with the same un-self-conscious enthusiasm as that little boy had shown me. To step out my door and shout “It’s a blue sky!” Or in the afternoon at Starbucks “It’s the guy making coffee and his name is Aaron!” And if I could see you reading this, I’d want to say “It’s you! It’s you! I’m so glad you’re here!”

 

Zero Degree New Moon

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If the New Moon were at 25 degrees Sagittarius instead of zero, this would mean that the Sun had been in Sagittarius for 25 days already.  The Sun shifts our collective spirit, and its transits help us to get revved up and ready for the  coming New Moon in that sign. When New Moons occur at zero degrees, as this one does, we don’t get this celestial head start. Instead, we receive a sudden splash of the new energy–and we’re not always as sure what to do with it!  Especially with Sagittarius, our spirits may lift, our desire for new adventures may build, we may feel the urge to board a plane to some exotic location… but where?  That’s the feeling of zero degrees. What to do?  Just enjoy the new spirit and follow wherever it leads. Wait a few days before setting New Moon goals.

Sagittarius is a mutable sign. Mutable New Moons signal that a change of season is on its way. The weather will usually be capricious and surprising. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, one day will feel like autumn, and then next day like winter, then it’s autumn again.  To be in tune with Nature, we need to likewise become more versatile and changeable.  It helps if you enliven your senses. Stay awake to the weather. Stay awake to your own shifting needs. This is the way to avoid change-of-season illnesses. With nimble feet, start dancing to life’s new tempo and tune.

Mutable New Moons

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Astrologers classify signs as cardinal, fixed, and mutable. If you have a lot of cardinal signs in your chart  (Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn), you like action.  With a lot of fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius), you prefer to keep things as you want them to be. With planets in mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces), you like to keep your options open; you’re versatile and changeable.

These same three qualities describe New Moons too.   New Moons in cardinal signs are the best times of the year to initiate new projects. (Such a time arrives next month with the Libra New Moon.)  Fixed sign New Moons bring us to the peak of each season. These are great cycles to support or stabilize whatever you’re been tending. Mutable New Moons–which is what we’re enjoying this month in Virgo–signal that a change of season is on its way. The weather will be capricious and surprising. One day it’s summer, the next day it suddenly feels like autumn, then it’s summer again.  To be in tune with Nature, we need to likewise become more versatile and changeable.  It helps if you enliven your senses. Stay awake to the weather. Stay awake to your own shifting needs. This is the way to avoid change-of-season illnesses. With nimble feet, start dancing to life’s new tempo and tune.

Get your Venus blessings!

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“The invisible world wants to help us,” declares visionary activist and astrologer Caroline Casey, “but spiritual etiquette requires that we ask.”  I especially like asking Venus for a little extra juju, using the Santeria ritual for Oshun (described by Casey in her Making the Gods Work for You).  As the Yoruba goddess of fresh waters, Oshun oversees the same delights that Venus does, so I call “Venus” with Oshun’s ritual and neither goddess seems to mind.

I make sure to perform this ritual every year during the Taurus cycle, which coincides this year with an auspicious moment in the Venus cycle:  She is soon emerging as the Evening Star!  Keep watching the western sky at sunset. The first night you see Venus twinkling in the sky is your moment to make a wish (what date this occurs depends on the horizon line at your location.) Pay Venus homage and ask for her blessings!  How? Just speak sincerely, from your heart. You might surprise yourself too. And, do use the Oshun ritual before or after you sight Venus, to help anchor your connection to her.

Over the years, this magic ritual has brought me many gifts–including the home of my dreams and a man to share it with.  Try it and see what miracles it can work for you!

  1. It’s best to perform this ritual on a Friday—which is Venus’ day.  You’ll need a round piece of bread, like a dinner roll.  Make a hole in it and put a nickel or five pennies inside (the number five is sacred to Venus).
  2. On a small piece of paper, clearly state your desires.  Fold this paper and put it into the bread, on top of your nickel.  Then pour a little honey on top of that (as Casey always says, “for obvious symbolic reasons!”).
  3. Finally, place a small candle in the hole (bigger than a birthday candle, but smaller than a taper).  Casey suggests a yellow candle, though I’ve found different colors fun to play with.
  4. Light the candle.  As it is burning, honor Venus:   take a luxurious bath, go shopping, make love.  Do something that makes you feel juicy, beautiful, pampered, prosperous, and happy.  Like attracts like—a delightful like-minded mood attracts Venus like nothing else!
  5. When the candle is completely burned down, so that only melted wax is on the bread, take it to sweet flowing water—a stream or a river, but nothing salty like the ocean.  Toss this now ritually potent (and fully bio-degradable) roll into the water, reciting an invocation, poem, or prayer of your choice.
  6. The goddess will respond to your desires in the coming weeks. She might fulfill your dreams in miraculous ways. Or she might play the trickster—revealing a blind spot that still stands in the way of your desires.

 

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