Archive | December, 2016

the wisdom + the dreams

On Thursday I thought my next post would be about ‘goodbyes.’ It’s the end of the year, there have been so many losses of good and beautiful people, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue here or not. ‘Goodbye’ seemed a useful way to explore that.

Instead, it is the age old question of the New Year: what wisdom will we bring with us from this year and what dreams will we create?

2016 was nearly universally recognized as a crappy year. As the months rolled by, everyone I know seemed to have to deal with some kind of issue or problem or recurrent bullshit. 99% of people I know are ready to see the back of this year as it walks its ass out the door of our lives. We hope 2017 will be an improvement.

But as I began to ponder the year for myself, what I realized is that 2016 was a year of learning things we did not want to learn. And yet, they were still things we had to learn. Life was directing us, instead of the other way ’round. We think we have it all under control; 2016 taught us better.

Thinking about it this way, that Life taught me what I must know this year in order to be prepared for my future, makes the lessons easier to accept. Still, they were not pretty.

Boundaries. I had to learn that sometimes love, concern, care, and loyalty are not enough in a relationship- whether it is with friend, lover, or family (there are times when ‘love’ cannot be the deciding factor in whether we stay or go). There were situations where my own spiritual and emotional health suffered and I had to draw boundaries in order to be healthy. So many times, with so many people, I said, “I can make this work,” and “I will make this work,” and “I will learn something about myself to make this work.” Over and over until I finally realized I was hurting myself. I had learned all I could, and going back was simply destroying my own mind and heart.

We can compromise so much to make something work (and sometimes we need to compromise so we can grow), but in the end, if it destroys our health in the process, it is no longer useful. I learned to create these boundaries this year, even though I did not want to.

Self love. The act of setting boundaries and taking care of our well-being is an act of self love. Refusing to be treated poorly, by ourselves or others, is huge self love. I learned that killing myself for another person was self cruelty, the opposite of self love. I learned to stop hurting myself and began to treat myself kindly and well instead.

Letting go. I wrote often about letting go this year. And it wasn’t just people I let go of, but ideas of myself and my life. I did the exceptionally hard work of closing off my heart and killing love (which is really the opposite of the way I am built- it was very tough work). I worked through the grief. I got better. As before, this wasn’t what I wanted to learn, but it was what I needed to learn. I already see ways in which the skills I have gained from the difficulties of this year will serve me in the future. I’m much more informed, aware, and choosy than last year.

Realizing my own racism and classism. Ah, the wake-up from my middle class bubble happened on November 9th this year. And how awful it was. I thought America was a reasonable place. I thought it was pretty fair. But no- it is not. And my eyes were opened that day. I am grateful for this- I have felt a lot of pain around it and started the process of digging out the poison within my own mind and heart and healing. I am feminist, anti-racist, pro-choice, and laud diversity in our country. I’m proud to say it, and I am doing the internal work that will allow my actions to line up with my convictions and values.

Being the change. Before this year, I knew what I cared about, but I wasn’t ready to fight for it. 2016 taught me to take action for the things I love. To know what I would die for and be prepared to do it. I was never much of an activist before 2016, but I will be now. Integrating activism is part of what I will carry forward as wisdom from this year.

a sky full of stars reminding us life is fleeting this new year and always


As I look at them now, I can see that all these lessons reconnected me to my values: health, truth, and love. Probably because of them I was so challenged by the lessons this year- I wanted my values to be beautifully expressed, always. Instead, I learned about them by their opposites. But learn I did.

I am also grateful to 2016 because, for so many people, it became a year in which they simply would not tolerate the bullshit anymore. I’m talking about artists who are making protest impactful and beautiful, such as Nona  Faustine. Writers (Desiree Lynn Adaway, Christian Fabien, and Kelly Diels, of course) who are opening my eyes and making me smarter so I can be a better fighter. And everyone who has decided to tell the truth of their life because it is time. These make me so grateful for 2016.

One of my favorite thinkers and writers, Brene Brown, says courage is born from struggle. And I think this is true. For those who struggled with difficult situations this year, I know they are stronger, wiser, and better prepared for their life. I am more of an adult than I was December of 2015. And I am grateful for it.

This is the wisdom I will bring with me into 2017.

Dreams for 2017? Yes, I have those, too. Some are simple, others complex. Some reach for the stars, others place me squarely at home. Most of my dreams are experiences- I want a life rich in experience. Of course, we don’t know what 2017 will bring- I might be writing from a nuclear fall-out zone next winter. But wisdom + dreams keep life worth living.

Was 2016 hard? Yes. But only because learning is hard. Learning is also worth the effort. I am so much more happy, free, and healthy than I have ever been before. It was a good year, too.

::: ::: ::: :::

If you want to gain some wisdom from your own year, try these questions:
[And seriously, take some time with them. A few hours and a journal- alone. A long, long walk in the woods. You will have ‘right away’ answers, but the good stuff comes after a little quiet has settled into your body and mind. Wait for the deeper stuff; the gold will rise.]

Who, what, or what experience did I over-value? And why?
‘Why’ is probably the important part. Lots of willful ignorance or old family issues stuck in the ‘why,’ usually.

Who, what, or what experience did I under-value? And why?

When fuck-ups happened, what was my part in them?
Answer: at least 1% of any given situation is your responsibility. No one is utterly innocent.

What do I need to learn from my fuck ups/this year?
What do I want to learn from my fuck ups/this year?
[[ You can also use these questions in positive mode. ‘When good things happened, what was my part in them?’ etc. ]]




new moon in capricorn.

Hey friends. I know the new moon was yesterday and I couldn’t even make it in to write! So, here we are with a bit of wisdom for this new moon, the last of 2016.

I plan on writing tomorrow (we’ll see if it happens!) and it’s about ‘goodbyes.’ I’m honestly not sure what I’m going to say. I am mulling over the idea of scrapping this blog- or maybe just letting it rest for a bit. Not sure. I know I’m not particularly inspired to be here- I want to be out in the world. But maybe that is just a polite version of writer’s block. We shall see.

In any case, here is some info on the New  Moon in Capricorn from Alana Fairchild (via FB).

“January guides us into the new year with an 11 frequency (1 + 2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 11). This master number supports a quantum leap in consciousness, bringing us the message that there is something completely new wanting to break through the old reality to transform it. This is the month to move boldly towards whatever is the next level for you. Rumble a little, or a lot. See what really ignites your soul, what stirs you up inside with enough divine passion to be brave and go for what matters most to you.

2017 is a universal 1 year, taking us into a new 9-year cycle. The intentions, relationships, actions, and decisions we set in motion this month especially, and throughout 2017, will have enhanced staying power and long term impact. They set the tone for the next 9 years. It’s so important to be completely authentic about what you do – and do not – want to flourish in your life and the world during this time. Let’s plant what we really want to grow! Humanity is in such need of our soulfulness and sincerity, and we can make choices that our future selves with thank us for throughout the 9 years ahead.

On January 12, the moon is full in Cancer. In astrology, this is considered the sign through which new cycles commence, the birthing sign. This full moon encourages us to reflect upon what we know deep within our soul, so that what we choose to nurture into life is in harmony with our own inner truths. The sign of Cancer is about feeling, intuition, and what moves us at a deeper level, even if those things may not seem logical or likely. This full moon can bring great insight about your purpose and divine destiny, you just need to ask for such guidance with a heart open and willing to receive. 


With the element of Fire ruling this Rooster year, along with a focus on birth that is inherent in a 1 year, we move into sacred territory of the Phoenix. Phoenix is the gatekeeper for divine alchemy. Once you move into its terrain, you cannot go back to what has been. Phoenix teaches us how to up-cycle our soul, to take energy from what is no longer relevant and bravely channel it into our higher expressions. With such courage and creativity, you reveal your readiness to embrace spiritual rebirth. your soul is able to access its innate ability to be reborn…”

::: ::: ::: :::

Transformation comes after we clean the crud out of our life. If you want, you can call upon the energy of this new moon to help you level up in your spiritual (and emotional, and relational) life. May it be so.

Authentic paths, fellow travelers. May you find yours this new moon.
Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo



Full Moon In Gemini

Well, here we are again. I’ve not written except for the moon cycle. Oh, friends- I have so many ideas, and so little time. But isn’t that the way life is sometimes? I miss you, but I’m glad to be doing what’s keeping me busy.

What do the sages have to say about the full moon in Gemini tonight?

Interesting and contradictory things.

Bairavee says:

“I keep getting a single message for this upcoming Gemini full moon: Simply Be.

If we look at the energy of Gemini itself, we are encouraged to communicate, analyze, reflect, and explore a wide variety of experiences. Some may revisit our early childhood experiences and relationships with sibilings in an effort to understand how their internalized constructs have taken shape. That being said, we’re days away from the start of Mercury in Retrograde. Think through what you feel, want to say or commit to, and just let thing emerge.

Don’t feel the need to set a focused intention for this alignment, and just sit with it. There is so much coming through…being able to hold that space is more than enough. The time for action comes later.

Let the energy shift when it needs to. Let You shift when You need to.”

Elizabeth says:

“No matter where you live, the next 24-36 hours sees the global energy at an intense pinnacle of release. This Full Moon is the final Super Moon of 2016 and the third in a row since October. The next TWO DAYS are nothing short of intense and full of opportunity for your final BIG let-go of 2016. So use this energy for all it’s worth.”

The general consensus in most places is that this super full moon is going to help us let go, and let go, and let go. For me, I would say whatever you’re letting go, you’ve been trying to let go of all year and this is the last piece that needs to drop. I see a lot of relationship work coming up in friends- and myself- these past few weeks. Maybe that’s what needs letting go. I’ve also seen a lot of dark stuff- things we are afraid of, or afraid to admit- coming closer to the surface. Maybe that’s what needs letting go.

For me, I finally sat my beloved partner down and had ‘The Talk’ about what’s happened for me this year. He had not been privy to all the details of my own letting go, so I shared them. Every last one. It was dark, relational, cathartic, and was part of the process that the new moon passed me through two week ago. Now he knows everything, and now we are both free- together and stronger than ever before.

If anything, I think this full moon might be about totally being yourself for 3 days and letting whatever falls away, fall away. People, places, ideas, whatever. Just be you and let the full moon shine a light on what needs to be let go. If there’s something that’s been with you all year, that you’ve been letting go of, or wish to- maybe that is where you need to reflect and release. I can’t tell you where to go, only that the signs point this way and you can choose to go or not.

Marybeth wrote the best prayer about this, yesterday:

“And my prayer, for you, on this 12th day of Christmas, or Advent, or Solstice, is that you align your rhythms with your faith, that you honor what your heart has always known, that you are brave to make changes, and that you are gentle with yourself when you cannot. That you own these dark times, as a queen does, and you have chosen, to go here, to explore the terrain, on your own, as only you want to do. “

As ever, I hope to actually write something more than moon-scopes soon. I love you, dear fans. Thanks for reading.

Big love on the trail-
Joanna :: xoxo




Moon | Mercury :: Cosmic Crap Cleaners

Hey fellow travelers! I love you, but I have been saving the world (one email and one protest and one letter at a time), and I’ve been swamped.

Believe me, though- you were never far from my thoughts. I miss not writing and sharing here. Know that.

::: ::: ::: :::

So, last week was the New Moon in Sagittarius. Of course, now we are at the waxing half moon since I’m a week late writing this! In any case, I think it’s worth talking about because it such an interesting moon, at such an interesting time of year.

It’s a dark, introspective moon. Time to look at the darkness, and maybe the junk, inside of us.

It is a moon of shedding, releasing, and creating new pathways for change.

My dearest Bairavee said,

“The only way I can describe the potency of this energy is a shockwave. For some of us, it is manifested in external events in the world bringing turmoil (or simply the impetus for change)- and for others it directly impacts our personal lives. Some have found themselves catapulted into a no-space, no-state of being or flow, whilst others have felt pain and grief.”

Is this sounding like the last week for anyone?

This last weekend was about making concrete, if challenging steps forward on our path. Boundaries were to be tested (were they? you tell me). And Life was giving us the strength to carry out our wishes, no matter how tough they were.

The Tarot Lady pulled a card for December. Wanna know what it was?

She wrote,

“The presence of the Death card indicates major change is afoot. This month marks the end of the old and the beginning of the new.  Change can be frightening but it’s important to embrace it rather than hide from it.

December could bring some large scale seismic shifts – prepare for transformation.  Some of these changes may be outside of your control. In those cases, do your best to roll with it. 
But, if on some level you know you need to make a u-turn in any part of your life, consider this your permission slip to begin your evolution.” 

We are passing through intense energy to clarify us.
We are passing through intense energy to clear out the crap.
We are passing through intense energy with this moon because it is the end of the year- time to let go.

Were you ready to let go of something last Tuesday? Did you?

I will tell you- I know I  passed through some kind of portal.
A connection I have wanted to fully release for many years finally let go.
I worked my ass off the last six months to make that happen, and some grace of the Universe gave the last push up and away.

It felt like watching Sirius Black fall from the Ministry of Magic into death’s portal.
It felt like watching Jack sink into the sea as Rose shivered her way back to life.
It felt like any book or movie where the door closes and you know it won’t open again.
No more whisps of smoke, no more spiritual or energetic threads, no strings, no connection at all.
It felt like someone gently pushing me ahead, through, because my destiny is no longer behind me, it is in front of me.

Dudes, it was amazing.
My life is pretty amazeovaries right now, but this was the final symbol and feeling I hoped for all these years.
It’s done, it’s gone, I am free of it all.

Joseph Campbell was right- the heroine can take her journey, fight the dragons (inside herself), learn, grow, and reach the end of the story with the jewel she worked so hard to uncover. What a gift the moon portal gave me.



I pulled these oracle cards on Monday.
Our Lady of Divine Direction | Our Lady of Peaceful Change | Our Lady of the Inner Gate
Amazing, right?


December is all about the clean out, though, because we have a long period of Mercury in Retrograde, the shadow phase of which started on the 2nd. If you didn’t get cleaned out last Tuesday, there’s a lot more opportunity coming.

What does that mean? It means anything that’s crap in your life will come up for review, re-visit, re-working. MiR forces us to look at old hurts, needs, how our buttons are pushed, etc. so we can heal and grow.

Specifically, this MiR is going to be about communication- intense and truthful. It’s about rebellion and leaving behind what doesn’t work. It may be about shaking off oppression and also questioning ourselves at every turn. It’s going to be an intense month. But the clean-out could be spectacular.

Mercury in Retrograde has most often been a useful, happy time for me. I used to wonder why my life ran better in MiR, when most people’s ran worse. I finally figured out that it has to do with my soul work in this life: I’m a cosmic crap cleaner.

My job, here on this strange and lovely Earth, is to help people clean the crap out of their lives- even out of their souls. If you work with me, that’s what you get. And if I’m in your life for some reason, it’s probably because you need some truth + cleaning.

That was a side note, just to say: Mercury in retrograde can really help you clean the crap out of your life, if you let it. You have to let go- and that is the hardest thing in the world, sometimes.

And if you know your life needs an overhaul, or you are really tired of your life, or you are sick of your own BS, well…Mercury in retrograde is your ticket out. Just remember: you have to do the hard work; it doesn’t just happen on its own.

Mercury in retrograde lasts from December 19, 2016 to January 8, 2017. 2016 has been an incredible year and it is ending. Let go of whatever else needs to end and walk into 2017 with less weight and more love.

Big love from the trail, folks.
Talk to you soon!
Joanna :: xoxo