Archive | April, 2017

New Moon in Taurus

Ah, can you feel the changes since Venus went direct? So good. And soon we will be out of Mercury in Retrograde (but I do sort of love it).

So here we are in the Taurus New Moon. I love me some new moon. Full moons are not my fave, but new ones, oh. so. sweet. This one feels like first inklings of desire to me; lighting me up, warming my chest, making me smile with wonder and attraction. And so it is…


From Chani Nicolas:

In Taurus, the moon can build anything. If it has decided something will happen, Taurus won’t give up until it is so. Taurus is stubborn AF. When Taurus applies its stubbornness to a course of action that isn’t in its own best interest, it ends up wasting all that precious effort. But, when that stubbornness is applied to healing, developing, and growing the best of what we’ve been given, we have pure gold to build with. 

May we learn that our ability to love is the marker of our wealth. May we learn that our healing is holy, necessary, and needed if this world is to thrive. May be learn that the most sacred act in life is to find a way to make use of the pain we have lived through. 


From She Who Is: 

The pure, unaspected energy of this new moon brings unerring focus to all issues related to earthly manifestations in matters ranging from the necessary pursuit of one’s financial path to the revelation and discovery of love. 

Use this new moon energy to sweep away everything that you do not deeply and completely love, and to draw forth the new beginning of what you have only ever hoped to find. 

The emanation of Taurean energy is both stubborn and sensual…To feel mediocre about any aspect of your life will reveal the cracks of what needs to leave. 



And Elephant Journal takes a Buddhist view of the New Moon:

Some lunar cycles wreck our plans, others are meant to encourage us to reap our rewards, and still others—like this one—are meant to push us toward the building of something new.

Something full of love.

This particular moon is asking us to take a closer look at the Four Immeasurables, or the four Buddhist virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. These components most highly reflect a state of enlightenment, and right now, as many are seeing spring begin to bud and grow around us, we are also feeling the urge to build something of quality and purpose.

We can make sure that we are building something genuine with a strong foundation or if instead, it already feels shaky beneath our feet. We can decide if what we are feeling is real, or if instead, it’s merely a figment of our own hopeful projections. And ultimately, we can discern if we’re truly content or only settling.

Nothing can begin without our decision, and no one in this life will make us happy if we haven’t decided to love ourselves as we are. This new moon is not only asking us to delve within but to stay awhile and see what is really inside.

What do loving-kindness, joy, compassion, and equanimity mean to us?

And more than that, what do each of these virtues feel like, taste like, and smell like? What would it mean to live a life that fully embodied these qualities on the exterior, because we have already mastered it internally?

And so we have to ask ourselves if that isn’t what our lives currently reflect—are we ready to start over?

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

The question is, do you have the ovaries to do it? Can we refrain from lying to ourselves once again? That’s hard for INFJ’s like me to do (we hate lying!), but other folks seem to be able to with ease. If this moon is pushing you to love, it’s also pushing for truth- your truth. Go and plant that tonight.

G’night, fellow travelers. See you in the dark of the moon.
Joanna :: xoxo




The Sensuality of War.

I first wanted to write, “There is none.” and leave the post at that. But then I began to think about it.

There is a sensuality to war.

But it’s not what you think it is.

The sensuality of war is simply to be alive.
To be alive and attain anything approximating ‘normal’ again.

Let’s talk about the sensuality of war, since it seems to be so fresh in our national consciousness.

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

First let me tell you about the smell of rotting flesh.

When you are at war, you will smell this.
Whether it is from an IED wound gone wrong or the leftovers of a nuclear bomb.

I have smelled rotting flesh. I worked in a nursing home through college.
Bed wounds and surgeries that don’t heal.
And the flesh rots, even when there’s been good care.

And once you smell rotting flesh, you will feel so grateful for the smell of nothing.
For the smell of air.
Strangely, even the smell of an outhouse full of shit is an improvement over rotting flesh.

To be alive and smell nothing- that is the sensuality of war.

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

The sensuality of war is a good nights rest and the miracle of how that feels.

The memories, the sounds with no pictures, the triggers- they come with war.
And to be free of them is the most sensual thing in the world.
Ask a veteran with PTSD.

To sleep well and deeply is the sensuality of war.


[I do not know the artist who took this picture. If you know, please
inform me so I can offer the correct attributions. ]


The sensuality of war is holding a human being you love and feeling their warmth.

There is no end of cold inside war.
The cold of the physical body.
The cold of MREs.
The cold of distance.
The way the heart must numb itself to make it through.

And then, to hold someone you love, who loves you, that is the most alive thing.
Whether it is spouse or comrade or animal.
The feeling of ‘normal’ inside someone’s arms; that is the sensuality of war.

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

The sensuality of war is to sit in a chair, in a normal place- a house, a restaurant- and feel calm.

To not remember the nights you slept against cold armor.
To not worry there is someone behind you (to not hear or imagine them there).

To feel your body settle and relax and know it can remain that way for some period.
To laugh inside that chair.

Breathing in a relaxed rhythm is the sensuality of war.

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

War is awful and ugly and should be avoided at all costs. Always. In this day and age we have more than enough tools to keep ourselves from war.

I understand the allure of it all. I have been in emotional wars where my victory was certain – and that felt so delicious. Power is delicious.

But the power of war is the Buddhists hungry ghost; it has a never-ending stomach. It can never be filled- until the last opponent is dead. And then what is left? Nothing but the stench of rotting flesh.

War is sensual- it can make us feel very alive. But I think it is a backward kind of sensuality- where we dig ourselves into a hole and only feel alive again when we claw our way back to baseline. Maybe that’s the point of war- to remind ourselves how wretched the hole is, how good ‘baseline’ can feel. But we all know: war is almost never worth it.

Perhaps instead of enduring the sensuality of war, we could try something new: to practice the maturity of staying at baseline and loving it exactly as it is, not as something ‘better’ in contrast to a disaster.




The Laughing Heart

by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.