Archive | January, 2018

New Moon in Capricorn

Hey, babies- so glad you’re here on this dark moon night. I swear my energy is so aligned with the moon and the planets. Saturn is moving into Capricorn as well (and will stay there for 3 years or some such thing) and I can just feel myself feeding on the energy of that. My INFJ personality really loves surprises, but I do best with a foundation of healthy habits. And Saturn in Capricorn is all about that- so I’m just digging it.

Anywaysies….let’s talk about this gorgeous new moon. Here’s whatcha need ta know!

From Big Sky Astrology:

We live in tough times, and there is a lot wrong with the world that is unfair and isn’t our fault. But Capricorn taught me this, and some days it makes me angry as a hornet: Just because something happens that is unfair or isn’t our fault doesn’t absolve us from our responsibility to try to achieve the life that we want. Whenever someone tells me about their problems and rattle off a long list of reasons why overcoming them is impossible, I know I’m hearing the self-imposed limitations of their Saturn. And the Capricorn Three Kings rise up in me to tell them, “Start focusing on what will work instead of what won’t work. Take back your life.”

The tough voice of Capricorn dominates this New Moon cycle, and I am deeply grateful for it. We focus so much on Capricorn’s toughness that we overlook its message of empowerment—that we are the authors of our lives, writing each chapter in real time through our decisions and choices. Yours is a story only you can write, and it’s one that the world is waiting to read. Make it the best one you can. 

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From Forever Conscious-Intuitive Astrology:

At the time of the New Moon, there will be a line up of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Pluto all in the sign of Capricorn. This rare alignment is known as a stellium.

Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign which means that it holds the energy of leadership, hardwork, determination and groundedness.

Capricorn is represented by the mountain goat, and if you have ever seen a mountain goat, you would know that it is able to use its nimble feet to climb higher and perch itself in places that most other animals would not be able to get to.

This is a good way to describe the hardworking energy of Capricorn, and with so many planets, plus the Sun and Moon aligning in this constellation, we are all going to be able to make a leap of progress as we climb our own mountains.

This is the perfect time to take action in your life and begin making small, practical changes in order to bring more joy, abundance, love, success, and whatever other feel-good emotions you want into your life.

Capricorn is a very practical sign, so this is not necessarily about making bold, shocking moves in our lives (unless we feel called to do so), rather it is about making small yet effective shifts to get us closer to where we want to be.

For the last few years we have really had to focus on clearing and planning, but now we are getting a lot of support to actually put our plans into action. January is one of the most action-focused months of the year, so use this energy to your advantage and don’t be afraid to push yourself a little higher.

While this line up of Capricorn planets is really going to help us find our ambition and strength, this New Moon has a soft, intuitive energy as well.

While this is a great time to take action and express yourself outwards, there is also this energy pulling us to go deeper within ourselves and to really connect to that heart center. 

 

Climb the mountain; change the view.

Photo by fynn lehnert on Unsplash

 

From SheWhoIs:

Conflicts, cravings, and chaos. Those actively pursuing spiritual awareness and raising their vibration are most likely sensing disturbance and change at levels not noticeable to others. Odd pains, heaviness of limbs, a desire to sleep, foggy thinking and strange dreams are common. However, lovely synchronicities such as thing needed suddenly appearing, unexpected opportunities, and welcome surprises also accompany this energy. This moon longs to love, but karmic adjustments are forthcoming. Things are not what they seem; trust your intuition now more than ever. 

Intentions should focus on what ultimately aligns you with your desire, nature, and path. Prepare for resistance of things who do not serve and set them free. Many will be given most cosmic responsibility at this time, be present and answer the call. Time will shift in your favor, as well as circumstances, if you do not neglect what is being asked of you, in full consciousness and conscientiousness. Do not be afraid to ask for love. 

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Mystic Mama shares:

New Moon in Capricorn is calling us to rise from within and move forward with our deepest knowing.

We began the year coming to terms with what is no longer working and what needs to be let go of and now it’s time to move onward and trust in the unknown journey that awaits.

The beauty is we can choose to learn from our past and use our experiences as the fertile soil that will one day shoot new sprouts. Just as the dandelion seeds are carried in the wind to new ground, so we are held in the great continuum of life as it unfolds.

Pallas Athena, Uranus and Eris, that powerful trio is challenging the Sun/Moon/Venus precipitating crisis in our relationships, in the way we conduct our business, in the rules we break, in our ideas of what is ethical behavior, in standing up to address disempowerment and hypocrisy.

Athena and Eris, feminine warrior goddesses, are guiding Uranus to shatter what has gone before.

This has been an ongoing influence for months…Pallas adds additional support for the disempowered, the artistic ones, the energetic healers, political strategists, and activists. [from Pat Liles at The Power Path.com. ]

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Fellow travelers, I’m feelin’ this so clearly. I hope you are, too- if it suits you! Thanks for taking the journey with me and I hope whatever intentions you plant this new moon arrive with joy and ease.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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Remnants of a Ritual :: Ways to Let Go

Hey, ya’ll- I’ve been out for a few days on a dark part of my path. At first I thought I was in a bit of a spiritual ‘cave,’ being in my dark, but I realized, “no, this isn’t a stop, it’s the path- it’s just a dark part of the path. A place I have to do real work.” So, I’ve been doing the work. I’ll say more about that in another post because I’ve been learning a lot and I’m close enough to some aspects and stages of growth to be able to parse them out more clearly. Anywho….

Last week I had my ego mowed down in the most gracious and succinct way and I’ve been doing the work from the lesson it gave me. I had been wanting to let go of a connection with someone but it just never quite would go away. (I have this trouble- my heart is big, it would hold on to people forever if it could.) And in few moments filled with a lot of energy and drama the connection came to a crashing halt and I was given the lesson I so desperately needed to learn.

This is often how it has gone in my life with important lessons: I hang on until the lesson or teaching is revealed and then – poof! – I no longer need or desire the connection with that other person. It’s abrupt, and some people don’t like abrupt, but that split-second shift is sometimes a very merciful thing. It makes it easier to let go.

In the spiritual practice of letting go, there are two important times to surrender:

  1. When you’re ready to.
  2. When you’re not ready to.

Often we know when we need to let go, but we’re not ready. That’s the time you need to let go.
Often we know when we need to let go, and we’re totally ready. That’s also the time you need to let go.

And, in my experience, we all know when we should let go, we just wait as long as we can, hoping Life will give us different instructions. But, no. Life will always have her way with us- best to do what she asks, when she asks.

When we’re being asked to let go (whether we’re ready or not) there are some rituals that can help. Rituals are a way of formalizing and deeply acknowledging the importance of what we’re doing- the importance of letting go. I believe that rituals touch the deeper waves of our personal energy force and help shift things at the subconscious level- so they can help us let go more easily, giving us energetic support to open our fingers and release.

Ways to Let Go with Ritual

Burn. A favorite for millennia among the spiritual and the secular. Write a letter, write a name, draw a picture, whatever it may be- set it alight and know that the energy of the thing goes with it as the ashes form and blow away.

In the Italian Catholic tradition, one writes the name of things they wish to be rid of on a bay leaf and then burns the leaf in a candle. Very fiery and effective, especially if you’re feeling a little Sicilian.

Rip. Slightly less final than burning, but it feels quite good to tear something asunder with your own hands. Think of Dead Poets Society– rip with joy.

Bury. Also a favorite for millennia. Create some symbol of what you wish to let go of and bury it. Bury it deep. Bury it far. Let it return to that from whence it came.

Flush. I prefer this one when I need a little humor in my ritual. We flush gold fish, why not our finished connections? Paper is best for this one- don’t clog the pipes or you get an entirely different outcome for your ritual!

Fly. Tie your symbol or words to a rock and huck it as far as you can. Drop it from a high place (make sure no one below will be hurt). Ask someone to drop it at the nearest airport garbage can.

Dance. I think dancing something away has to be done carefully. Dancing is usually for the taking in of things (see: whirling dervish). But I do believe we can dance our way free of things. And if that is what is needed, let it be.

 

Photo by Wesley Balten on Unsplash

 

Bind. Sometimes we just want something to keep its own boundary so that we can be free. In this case, let your words, letter, names, or symbol be bound with string or tape or whatever feels right. Bind it up so that it can’t get into your space anymore.

Digital Sorcery. In this modern age, everything goes down on a phone or tablet or computer. And those spaces need to be cleansed, too. I prefer deleting contacts to blocking them, as blocking means the person continues to take up space on your phone. Take screen caps of whatever you might need and then d-e-l-e-t-e.

And make sure to email those screen caps to yourself so you can completely clear the phone out. And stick those screen caps in a folder far, far away from your daily routine; another way to bury.

Funeral. Sometimes, when shit is deep or hard or long-standing, you gotta call in the big guns. Create a funeral for the connection. Speak your piece- roll out the soliloquy of anger, disaster, fear, frustration, gratitude, love, wisdom. Play some music. Stick the words, the symbols, the name, in the ground. And let it go.

Speak. Sometimes, all you need is to say the words out loud: “I’m letting this go.” “I’m done with this, now.” “I accept that this is done.” “Be well. Take care. Goodbye.” And even if you only say it to yourself, that is enough.

Energy Clearing. Many traditions have special words, rituals, or tools to help clear away connections. Native Americans clean a space or energy with the smoke from burned sage leaves. Pagans may simply blow on a thing, as if blowing out candles, to clear the energy. You can wash or dust something away. You can simply pretend to do those things (in the case of a phone, for instance) as part of a ritual and it will be equally effective as if you’d actually done it.

For the moment, these are the options I can think of. I’ll add more if I think of them (please add yours in the comments!).

The point of any ritual of letting go is to help us connect to the finishing of a connection and also symbolically recognize it- and allow it to come to completion in our psyche as well as our everyday life. Sometimes it is as easy as I had it- the lesson arrives and the connection dies all in the same moment. And sometimes it takes longer. But a good ritual can help us accept this part of our journey and find meaning in it. Letting go is an important part of life. And the more we can practice it, the better off we’ll be.

More soon, fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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With each footfall…awaken

Yesterday’s post about sweat (and exercise) reminded me of this poem I wrote a few years ago about running. One of the most sensual experiences I have ever had was running in a warm, soft rain. I can still recall the exact feeling of the rain on my skin and the way my body moved through it. I felt like sex itself, honestly. What a gift and a pleasure it is to move the body.

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

Ode to an Autumnal Morning Run

I am not fleet of foot,
Like Artemis or Athena.

I run like a beast;
My compact body hits hard.
I am Atalanta’s adept;
Solid and capable
Learning to fight my own battles.

I used to run in quarters,
Afraid of what I could not do.
Quarter minutes.
Quarter miles.
Quarter runs.

But my goddess body knew better.
Now I run in thirds.
In halves.

On my path, the bittersweet covers the trees
As fear used to cover me.
Pulling at my life, and letting me hide.

Like Persephone I rise from my grave of fear
Wipe the dirt from my eyes
Spit it from my mouth.
I learned in the dark-
I learned of my dark.

I am no longer scared-
The dark is sacred, too.

I see my serpentine self everywhere as I run
the sinuous vines and branches.
I feel her, too
Sensually winding
Undulating
As feet, ankles, knees, and hips roll forward
Aware of the shift of each movement
Both ecstasy and pain

My heart throws itself against my rib cage
Not just from the work of running
But also for the aspen leaves
So dense with yellow
I want to eat them
So rich red and fiery orange
I would paste them to my skin
And make more beauty of my sweating messiness.

I breathe
I breathe
I breathe
This I was also afraid of

I have breathed so many of the wrong things
Into myself

But running has made me strong.
Strong enough to breathe without fear.
Strong enough to endure.
Strong enough to finish.

And to start again
With each footfall
Awaken
Awaken
Awaken

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I still run, but only in the Summer and early Fall on our local bike path. In the winter I’m a cyclist, which isn’t quite the same, sensually. Either way, I’m glad to be living in a body that loves to move and can do so with ease.

 

 

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Sweat.

It’s been cold and snowy for the past couple of days here in Southern New England and I can’t help but to think about warm things. I don’t usually like to do that- it makes the cold that much worse by comparison- but even thinking about a nice, warm 40 degree day sounds awesome.

Thinking about proper warm, sunny days, like we get in the Summer, made me start thinking about sweating. I have, for a couple of years now, been fascinated by my own sweaty body. I like sweaty bodies in general- it means effort, exertion, making attempts at goals, heat, maybe sex, and some bodies smell fantastic when sweaty (I’m not one of them). Sweat also means warmth and movement and flexibility- equally sexy and fantastic as the other things.

So, I remain fascinated with sweat in general, and my sweat in particular. How it feels to have a workout where I am dripping with it (it feels rather badass- pushing my limits). How it feels to have the sweat cool on my skin. How it looks and feels sitting atop my skin- sometimes I notice every little bit, sometimes I am oblivious. The gorgeous feeling of being so entranced in my workout, or so dedicated to finishing what I’m doing, and the drops of sweat fall from my chin, nose, and and chest. Those drops are hard-earned and they feel like gold when I am warm and working my ass off.

I offer you a study in sweat.

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

 

| The cure for anything is salt water: tears, sweat, or the sea. |

 

| Luck is the dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get. |

 

| There’s nothing better than working up a good sweat. |

 

| There’s something incredibly sexy about sand and sweat and dunes
photographed like women’s backs.  – Kristin Scott Thomas |

 

| Sweat! Sweat! Sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat!  – Zora Neale Hurston|

 

|By being an athlete, I have discovered so many other ways to express my beauty. Being a strong, fearless woman makes me feel beautiful. I love the way I look and feel when I am two hours into my training and my skin is glistening with sweat and my clothes are drenched because
I have given it all I’ve got.  – Laila Ali|

 

| the best sweat is a from a hot bath, though. |

 

G’night fellow travelers. May your sweat bring you joy.
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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America is a 15 year-old boy

Specifically, a 15 year-old cis, hetero boy. And one who needs to get his shit together.

I should have written this post months ago. And that fact that I’m still capable of writing it- because nothing of significance has changed – kinda pisses me off. Alas…we’re here and there’s nothing to do but accept it.

Think of each country in the world as a person unto itself. We might imagine Ireland as a beautiful red-headed woman of about 30 years. She’s been through some violent growth spurts, raging inside herself to decide who really rules her, but she’s finally come to peace in the last few years. We can imagine England as a an older man, still white and cranky, but not so hell-bent on penis-waving conquering as he was in his 20s. (I think of England in its empire-building stage very much like Maverick from “Top Gun”- ready to prove its superiority at every turn, no matter the cost. These are simplified metaphors in many ways, but still valuable for examination and insight purposes, I think.)

And then there’s America. How can we tell America is a 15 year-old boy and not something else? We look at American culture and see: what does America like? What does it value? Uphold? You can tell a lot by what a culture produces and prefers- just like what a person produces and prefers.

Kardashians.
Sex.
It could give a shit about education or facts.
Addiction, and social circumstances that cause a fuck ton of depression.
Lack of critical thinking skills.
Prefers short-term solutions.
Political masturbation of the lowest sort.
Personal (white) supremacy. In other words, ‘if they ain’t me, fuck ’em.’
A distinct lack of wisdom.
Blaming others for its circumstances.
Just wants to go fast and fuck.
Playing power games with bravado and stupidity.
Easily entertained with bright lights and not much substance.
Heroics instead of actual care.
Lack of compassion.

[[I apologize to 15 year-old boys who don’t fit this mold; I know your smart, compassionate selves are out there.]]

And you can most certainly tell that America is a 15 year-old cis-het boy because a significant portion of the electorate felt Donald Trump was a good leader. A man who said so little of substance that everyone could project their hopes and ideas on him- and look at what they projected. Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, class warfare, and white supremacy for miiiiles.

We’re kinda disgusting. And I say “we’re” on purpose- because even if we didn’t vote for the Trashman, we are part of this culture and contributing to it with our every decision and indecision. Unless we are actively fighting it, we’re contributing to it. And I include myself in that judgement.

 

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

 

Here’s the thing, though. America has a better side. It has a better persona that is fighting to make its way out. Which is also how we know America is a 15 year-old; it’s still deciding who it is, and probably will be for a while.

What I know about the other side of America is that it is a side that it holds the opposite of most the qualities I listed previously.

The other side of America, the side that is fighting for its very breath, is so much better. It contains a lot of white supremacy still, but it also contains:

Compassion.
Acceptance of science and facts.
It reads books.
It imagines.
It’s gone to therapy for its issues.
It has broken, wailed, and healed- it knows the path of growth.
It knows that the value + integration of diversity and equality are necessary.
It might like sex, but it asks for consent.
It values transparency, vulnerability, and honesty.
It takes responsibility for its actions.
It seeks long-term solutions that are both efficient and effective for the Earth and its people.
It applies wisdom.
It upholds the feminine.
It doesn’t put up with immature bullshit.

There are people fighting daily to keep this America alive inside the body of the 15 year-old boy version of America. It’s a hard fucking fight- most especially for those who are fighting despite marginalization and resources withheld by policy and policing (and they are often the groups fighting the hardest. A lot of white ladies who marched in pink hats last January are still stepping on the necks of black women).

Here’s the thing about 15 year-old boys, though- nobody really wants to be around a kid like this. Most (not all, but many) other countries have gotten past this age and while they will nod and smile, they’re not about to let this dolt do any damage to the greater good of the planet (thank god). And 15 year-old boy America can stand around and swing its dick everywhere, but eventually everyone gets tired of the show (and really, 15 year-old dicks have no useful experience to offer us anyhow).

I believe that the majority of America, who voted for ‘not Trashman,’ have the upper hand and will eventually win out. It may take a while to undo the pissing contest mess that’s been created in a single year, but I trust it will be done. And I trust that actual jobs bills will be passed and single-payer healthcare will finally get rooted, and maybe even basic income will become a national thing. Because the one thing about fighting with ourselves is that we either die psychologically in the process (which would be fine, we can begin all over again, in that case) or the more evolved side wins out (check your personal experience with 15 year-old boys and see if I’m not right). Human culture always wants to move itself forward, and so I trust in that.

In the mean time, give yourself to the fight for America to grow up and get its shit together as often as you can. Our daily choices spread out beyond us in the same way that stones dropped in a lake make waves and eventually change the shoreline. America can be something smarter, more compassionate and fair, and a good person in the world again. I believe that because I know the sorts of people who fight for this- we are healed, we are aware, we are compassionate and intelligent. And there are more of us.

I’ll leave you with the words of our great leader, Beyonce: boy, bye.

 

 

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