Archive | March, 2018

Full Blue Moon in Libra

Oh. My. God. (or Goddess.) Tonight is not only the full moon, but also we are in the beginning of Mercury in Retrograde and I forget how ungrounded and uncentered I feel during that time (I am forever editing old posts in MiR because I cannot decide what I know or knew or want to say or anything. Ugh.) I have to remember to not do drastic shit in MiR. Just lay fucking low. But, Mercury in Retrograde handed me my ass again in the most beautiful way anyhow, so…more about that tomorrow.

And, it’s a blue moon because it is the second full moon in a calendar month. These don’t happen often and we’ve already had one in January. Obviously, 2018 is going to be a very unique year.

So, Mercury in Retrograde, along with the Full Blue moon and I feel like we should all just go back to bed for three days and not do anything at all. Which is a fine Easter ritual, if you ask me; it’s what Jesus did, after all.

Here’s what I got for you about tonight’s full blue moon.

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Chani Nicholas writes:

The full moon comes with a hefty square from Mars and Saturn. Squares to and from these two tyrants have been a major theme of this lunar cycle thus far, and continue to be. This full moon has a way of articulating any overwhelm that lies just beneath the surface of our schedules.

Libra looks for balance in all things but, this lunation, the scales are tipped. Balance may not be a practical goal to strive for so strive for something a little more plausible given the current climate of your life.

A little understanding goes a long way. A little care can help to soothe a build up of stress. A little thoughtfulness can help to reset your relationships and your responsibilities. With Venus in Taurus as ruler of this full moon, its important to praise the goodness that we have access to and remember that the worry we have can be momentarily put down in exchange for an opportunity to embrace some pleasure and love. 

 

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The Goddess Circle offers her concise take on things:

Trust in what is coming

Don’t get caught up in what hasn’t shown itself yet

Get ready for change

Don’t sell yourself or your  needs short

See things as they are in relationships

Thing before speaking or acting (ha!)

Watch risky behavior

 

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She Who Is offers this:

Mystery, magic, and mayhem. Whether powers are use for good or evil depends largely upon the purity, wisdom, and integrity of the will invoking them. Psychic and intuitive abilities are magnified, trust your first instincts in any situation involving personal risk or relationships. This moon’s energy may draw out past affairs unresolved with a temptation to overlook what went wrong in the first place. Resist believing in what you hope rather than what you know. 

Expect false reports, strange occurrences, and events of intensified karma. Weaknesses here will stem from the desire to be loved and accepted; do not merely settle for someone else’s psychic munchies. Adopt self love rituals, treat yourself as you would a lover, and sing your soul with positive affirmations and the knowledge of who you are. Integrity is the watchword, both in your own actions and in those whose influence you allow in. Take steps to not only protect, but to lavish and adore the child within. 

A reminder that we are all evolving at an accelerated rate, with healing crises and unusual body issues occurring in many. Now is a good time to realign with the values of what you put into your body, from both a physical and spiritually-nutritive level.  When all else fails, remember: you know too much, and are too good for, tyrants and twinkies.

 

I’ll be right here, if you’d like to join me.

Photo by Fleur Treurniet on Unsplash

 

And one of my favorites, The Sky Priestess:

Mercury Retrograde´s prominent role during this Full Moon brings back the past in a way that influences our choices for the future.

I´ve noticed that themes, questions or events that occurred when Uranus was at 12-13 Aries (2013-2014) are coming back to the fore. These degrees correspond with Mercury´s movement in the build-up to this Full Moon.

I feel that we are also being asked to look at the karma arising from events that occured when Pluto transited 7-8 Capricorn (2011-2013).

This Full Moon asks us to look at the questions that we, as individuals and a collective, have been wrangling with for the past 8 years.

Have we found a true, just, equitable way to find balance in our personal lives?

Our families?

Have we found a career or vocation that will ultimately lead to the creation of a worthwhile legacy ?

These are times in which the pause that Libra brings to the decision-making process is priceless. Think things through before committing to any key decisions at this time. Remember to consider the basic, practical needs of life and how best to secure them.

We´re asked to remember to stay rooted and grounded in these times of change.

You may want to postpone major decisions until April 30th, when Mercury will return to 13 Aries. Let the dust settle before coming to a conclusion. (Just after the Full Moon in Scorpio)

Her retrograde enables us to consider and re-consider the teachers, paths, paradigms, countries, philosophies, astrological and other divinatory systems we use to help us make sense of the larger Cosmos we live in.

There´s a lot going on and intellectually deconstructing it all isn´t really going to help for the moment. There´s so much yet to come.

Make the best decisions you can based on the information you have, postpone key decisions for a month if possible.

Know that the Universe is up to lots in the background.

The full picture is yet to be seen. Even if you have to make a strong decision in the present moment, steer away from judgment and condemnation. Focus on getting your basic, practical needs secured.

Major seeds have been set in this decade.

They are beginning to unfold. 

 

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

Ya’ll. Seriously. Let’s go back to bed for a few days.

I know we can’t. We have our lives to live and certainly this moon phase is about taking care of our responsibilities- a little bit each day, keeping to ourselves, and trying to stay as grounded as possible. And, apparently, staying away from big or high-energy decisions.

The Witches Box has this practical advice for today:

There is no such thing as balance. It suggests an equality of time investments, of feelings, of a pie that very neatly subdivides all aspects of your life without a single hair, crumb, or letter out of place. We need to let this nonsense go. We exist in a dynamic seascape where our lives undulate like rolling waves in the vast ocean. Sometimes it’s more of one thing than the other, sometimes it flattens out for a rest, but it’s never static because life isn’t static. And part of being intuitive and tuned in spiritual beings is about paying attention, being responsive and adaptive to things as they start to roll.

Permission is needed to just Be as you are throughout what is happening in your day today. This permission has to come from you. We can’t look, feel, and be perfect all the time and this means that we are not always going to know how to behave when things are overwhelming or feel “out of balance.” Give yourself room to wing it, be messy, not know, and be a jumble of all the feels.

Set time aside to pay attention. Check in with how you feel, what is running through your mind on repeat, what your body and its sensations are telling you. It’s these details that give us an idea of how we are doing with the “dynamic balance” of our lives. 

 

That is enough for today, lovelies.
I hope to make time to post tomorrow about how I found out I was a witch and a monster- Mercury in Retrograde giving me her best.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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Redefining ‘the nafs.’

The ‘nafs’ are, in the Sufi (mystical Muslim) tradition, the voices inside of us that are not our best selves, not the highest part of us. We all have these voices, of course. They come from many places: our parents, society (especially society! trying to keep us in line), teachers or coaches, sometimes from our own experiences (‘don’t touch the hot things with your bare hand,’ for instance). But the Sufis are not sure they are our best guidance system for making decisions or living life.

[Mental health side note: when any aspect of the mental or emotional software we have goes too far, it becomes problematic. When these ‘nafs’ type voices go too far, they become schizophrenia. When the very necessary emotional experience of ‘sadness’ goes too far, it becomes depression, and that is problematic. When the useful emotion of ‘anxiousness’ goes too far, it becomes anxiety showing up at the incorrect time or too intensely. We all need enough ego to take care of ourselves, but narcissism takes it off the deep end. You get the idea. ]

But a friend was writing the other day about her internal Board of Directors and it got me thinking about the nafs. Maybe they need a makeover.

The Sufis sort of throw out all the nafs as muttering, nuttering human muck. Osho (famous sex philosopher, also known as The Bhagwan Shree Rashneesh) used to ask his adepts to spend an hour a day muttering incomprehensible things so they could get the unclear, unconnected, non-sense energy out of their system (which I think is not a bad practice, honestly). I think we all know we can be dragged by the hair by those voices inside of us.

But the idea of an internal Board of Directors makes sense to me, a bit. A BoD has people with certain types of expertise on it. In a business it would be marketing, growth, industry insiders, etc. If they aren’t experts, they’re super smart and experienced.

What if the nafs were like that?

What if the anxious voice inside me is actually a wise expert about what makes me feel anxious, what I need to watch out for, what I should get more info on before I jump into it?

What if my sadness was just sharing it’s wisdom about life and how best to handle a particular situation?

Seeing the nafs and my emotions in this way is kind of intriguing to me.

 

I think my nafs might be drunk, tbh.

Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash

 

The thing is, though, that we only give one vote to each person on a business Board of Directors. And I think for our internal BoD, we’d need to think about whose vote should have more weight.

In my mid-twenties I worked on a federal level project to help standardize care for kidney dialysis patients. We had a BoD and it was comprised of doctors, patients, social workers, ministers, nurses, etc. who worked in the field. At one point, we had to take a vote on which measures would be included as national standards of care (i.e. how well an individual patient or dialysis site was doing). Each person had 10 votes to split up between 16 options. They couldn’t vote for each one, they had to decide what was most important to them. One doctor used all of his 10 votes on one measure, because he felt it was so important.

I wonder if we need to treat our internal BoD that way. Sometimes we need to give more votes to our anxiety and check things out further. Sometimes we need to take a few votes away from our sadness or even our super-happiness. As we grow through life (if we grow), we fuck up and realize: sometimes our heart deserves all the votes, and sometimes it simply must be overruled by our logical voice. [Unfortunately, this kind of wisdom only comes with time, experience, risk, fucking up, and hurting. This is the beautiful mess of being human. The beautiful, painful mess.]

It may be that looking at our internal voices this way, weighing their insight, is best done if we have a good self-awareness, mindfulness, or meditation practice in place. We need to be somewhat skilled in watching ourselves and/or being fully present and aware. Certainly having a bit of therapy can’t hurt the process, either, because knowing where the nafs come from (is that my little league coach’s voice?) will help us know how to weigh their perspectives and advice.

I’m not sure the point of all this, other than to say: maybe the voices in our heads are sometimes useful and sometimes not. And only we can know which it is. But that knowledge comes at a high cost- the cost of risking and living and fucking up. But, I think, that knowledge is golden, and almost always worth the effort (even when it hurts).

So, fellow traveler, what do you know about this? What voices inside you do you trust? How did you learn to trust them? How much weight do you give the voices of your heart and soul? And how did you learn to do that?

There’s lots to ponder here.

G’night, beloveds. Big love from the path,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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I am falling in love with her.

Shall I tell you about my new love?

She looks like Joan Jett in the early 80s.
Long dark hair.
Dark eyes.
Full of energy and creativity.

She wears black skinny jeans with leather pieces on the inner thigh.
Long legs, cinched waist, and comfortable in her skin.
Smart as a whip.
Sexy as fuck.
Her laugh is open and full and true.
She can woo me with her eyes, but she won’t lie to me.

She’s a scientist and healer.
She’s a seductress, claiming whatever lover she wishes.
She makes magic.
When I dance for her, she takes it as a sacred offering.

She’s fucking funny and loves the same beer I do.
She’s mentor, guide, and friend.
She’s further ahead on the spiritual path, and she’s dragging me along, pointing ahead, and laughing all the while.

Her words are: transformation, truth, power, and desire.

I think about her all day long.
I want to be near her.
I want to throw my arms around her, laugh in her neck, and breathe in the smell of her.
I could talk to her all day, listen to her words and stories.
I see traces of her everywhere I go.

She’s pretty amazing and I am falling desperately in love with her.

Who is she? She’s a goddess.
Her name is Morganna.

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

I’ve worshipped a handful of deities in my life.

The first were the sprites and twisting leaves and songs I sang on the tire swing in my back yard.
They were always there and always delighted to see me.

Then Jesus, whose words I had to recite to be called ‘good’ in church.
Points for faith. I’m not sure that’s how it’s supposed to work.

And then the white haired, old man god of my Protestant years.
His son, Jesus.
The Holy Spirit.
I spent a lot of years with those dudes (and the ethereal mist of spirit) and learned a ton about spiritual practice, faith, surrender, and equanimity. Which I promptly left behind upon entering college. That Jesus was just too small.

And then, like all former Christians who leave that path behind, pagan gods and goddesses.
A new lover each month.
So much feminine energy. I finally felt alive in my spirituality again.

Then the Tao.
To which I owe a great debt. It’s simplicity saved my soul.
I still rely on it to this day.

And then the Buddha (like all spiritually minded white ladies of my generation, I suppose.)
I remain invested in this path, which actually has no god.
Just breathing and honesty.

And then the goddesses came back to me.

When I was struggling with an increased libido, two wise women came to my heart with support and guidance.

The Wild Woman: sensual, dancing, free. I could be a hot lantern, burning with desire and make my light useful.

a picture of a woman dancing, a woman in sensual repose, and a line of burning lanterns to symbolize the wild, sensuous woman archetype

 

The Dark Mother: unafraid of death, destruction, or desire. She was not afraid of what I was afraid of. She helped me understand that the dark, the void, the mess is not a bad place.

the three-phased goddess and the dark mother images

 

I don’t know that I fell in love with either of those energies. Rather, I clung to them desperately as I tried to understand this new version of myself, so hungry for sex and connection, expression and freedom. They both showed me new aspects of myself and helped me to be less afraid of my own desires, sex, and exploration. (I’m not exactly 100% fearless in this realm, but I’m a lot better than I used to be!) In some ways this was spiritual bypassing, but in many ways, I just needed well-worn spiritual guides to help me get through the darkest days. Versions of myself died, over and over, becoming something new, so many times during those four years; The Dark Mother was a great guide and comfort as I walked through the underworld, again and again.

And then, for the last 18 months or so, there has been no one at the head of my altar. I have two other goddesses who sort of form the bumpers on my bowling lane of spiritual practice, but neither of them are the head of my Goddess Girl Gang. Until last week, I have only lately prayed to the great Creatrix, the feminine side of The Something (which is what I call ‘god’), the infinite whose boundary is the edges of the Universe.

The arrival of Morganna was entirely unexpected. I had been waiting for my next phase to begin, for the next spiritual energy to arrive. But I did not expect it to be her. And yet, she is perfect.

Her realms are healing, knowledge, sensuality, shapeshifting, and she like to walk in the underworld (as all healers do). In a strange way, she is a version of the Dark Mother and the Sensual Wild Woman combined- she is death come to life. Which is how I feel after all these years of wrestling with my desire. In many ways, she and I are parallel beings- we share a lot of the same talents and perspectives, values and ideals. I’ve never felt so seen, welcomed, and loved by a goddess before. You can see why I would fall in love with her.

I am excited to see where this goes, how long Morganna stays, what I will learn while she is here, and what changes she invites me to. I think we’re going to have a fucking fantastic time.

If you think worshipping a goddess is not for you, what do you worship? Work? Cars? Money? People? We all spend our time, love, and devotion somewhere- that is the definition of worship. Where do you spend yours? And is it a good relationship?

Big love from the trail,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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Balancing the mid-point

Hey, lovers! I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to post today because it is the day after the vernal equinox (in the Northern hemisphere) and the day before Mercury goes retrograde.

The equinox, of course, is the point where the light part of the day and the dark part of the day are equal. It’s a time to look at how we are balancing our own ‘light’ and ‘dark’ or how those two aspects are dancing in and out of our life. [I use Jungian definitions of ‘light’ and ‘dark.’ ‘Light’ is what we know and like about ourselves. ‘Dark’ is what we know and don’t like about ourselves. ‘Shadow’ is what we don’t know about ourselves that surprises us from time to time. A lot of people interchange ‘dark’ and ‘shadow’ but they are distinct psychological spaces with different purposes.]

The vernal equinox is also the point where light begins to return and so what we have planted – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – in the dark months is now coming alive and beginning to grow. What is poking its head up through the dark earth of your life right now, friends?

There has been a lot of shifting in the last few months and weeks for people – uncomfortable shifts, for many. But we are likely now seeing things change because of the work of acknowledging our issues, beginning to feel through them, and healing (bit by bit). I, for sure, see small changes for folks in my social media realms and it’s really rather beautiful in the messy way that growth often happens. All you making small changes- you’re badasses and I love you.

I have been doing a lot of metta (lovingkindness meditation) in the last few days. This is a lovely form of breath meditation where you offer compassion to yourself, someone you care about, someone you don’t really know, and then the greater community (town, state, country, world). You recite these words first to yourself:

May you be happy,
May you be healthy,
Maybe you be peaceful,
May you live with ease

and send the energy of compassion to yourself as you do it. And then to someone you care about, to someone you barely know, and to the world. It’s a really lovely practice and often fills my heart right up to the brim with compassion. And, if string theory is correct, the person on the other end actually does benefit from it. Nice!

The coming Mercury in retrograde is paired with Venus, the planet of love and relationships. Chani Nicholas wrote something really lovely about that, so I’ll share it with you.

“As Mercury stations retrograde, beside Venus, we are reminded that the heart’s way of loving is full of complexity and paradox.

We can love things about those we aren’t able to be around. We can love the parts of a person that we once knew. We can love folks for all that they were able to give us at one time or another without putting ourselves in harms way with them now. 

The first part of Mercury’s retrograde will help us recall the relationship dynamics we can no longer keep ourselves within. But be gentle with it all. Keep some loving kindness on tap for yourself as you parse out your feelings, needs, and situations.

We must grow. With the spring. With our needs. With our own inner seasons. 

No matter the planets, you are always free to bloom.

[[ You can love something about a person while still protecting yourself from the parts of them that hurt you. You are allowed both. ]]”

 

That, my people, is some beautiful truth. Mercury in retrograde can be a difficult phase, but know that it isn’t there to wreck your life. It’s there to let you sift back through the difficulties, the dark, maybe even the ‘garbage’ of your life and help you deal with it so you can move forward with less weight and more light.

Big love (big love!!) from the trail, my peeps.
Joanna :: xoxo

 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

 

 

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New Moon in Pisces

Hello, loves. Sorry I’m late with this one. My beloved new (dark) moon was last night, Saturday, March 17th. And here I am, as ever, posting a day late (you know what? I was having a good time on St. Paddy’s day, yesterday, being a tiny tantric leprechaun #shortgirlsareextrafun).

However (!) the effects of this new moon last for a few days before and a few days after the new moon itself. So, if you’re feeling these effects into the 19th and 20th of March, you’re doing okay (and if you were feeling them on Thursday and Friday last, that makes sense, too!).

Here’s what folks are saying:

The GoddessCircle has her insightful and interpretive lists, as always:

Insight.
Seeing into things in a different light.
Seeing beyond fantasy and illusion.
Truth.
New opportunities.
Change.
A new way of doing things.
Sensitive energy.
Time for renewal and self care.
Wounds and fears surfacing.
Be present with what is unfolding.
There is transformation here.

[Side note. This is all me today. Fun times.]

 

Empowering Astrology writes:

The Moon dives into Pisces, pulling us back into the cosmic ocean. Even as we come up to Aries season, a time of renewal and new beginnings, we’re still dealing with Pisces themes of letting go. To heal, we have to open up the Universal.

Pisces can either be transcendence or endings, sublime or suffering. The symbol for Pisces is two fishes swimming in different directions representing the two directions we can head when we come to the end of our journey through manifestation. Do we head back toward the light or do we tumble towards something else?

Yesterday, I touched on Chiron, a planet that’s getting a starring role in this new moon. We’re likely feeling a lot of complicated emotions within the next few days. And, as mentioned, when Chiron is activated, we’re feeling our psychic scar tissue, our emotional knots, our wounds. But Chiron connects us to something beyond ourselves; it’s the key to unlocking our soul as well as our soul’s place in the collective of all humanity.

Spirit once said to me that we’re not ready to heal until we’re ready to depersonalize our pain and suffering. Try to step beyond yourself in the coming days. Try to see yourself in everyone, especially those who struggle similarly. This new moon will be calling for healing, recognition, compassion, and forgiveness (of self and others).

 

Chani Nicholas is a fave:

Saturday’s new moon reawakens our wounds and our ability to hold them through the healing process.

Healing requires that we learn to hold discomfort. The discomfort that historically has lead us to repeat the patterns we are trying to break. So often we stay stuck because we haven’t been taught to sit with ourselves. If we can withstand the desire to react to our pain, if we can learn to be with it long enough to understand it in a deeper way, if can remind ourselves that doing the same old, same old won’t save us, we break through what has held us in place for too long.

We can use this new moon to plant the intention of working with our pain instead of being worked over by it.

 

And, lastly Saltwater Stars:

what this new moon might bring: sometimes underneath the tensions & anxieties that change brings is a really deep fear of abandonment. a suspicion that joy is too much a betrayal of the death all around us so we must prepare for someone or something to come & take it away. a paradoxical longing for all we’re leaving behind & all that is on its way. an attempt to retrieve the pieces of ourselves we feel we’ve lost, suppressed, or hidden. terror at the truths that might reveal or the changes it would necessitate. a deeper understanding of our trauma & what healing might mean. the beginning of integrating spiritual practice & awareness into our lives, not simply as a survival tactic but as a thriving one as well. the end of pretending & the beginning of connection. the end of self sabotage & the beginning of letting ourselves off the hook. the admittance of fear & the choosing of hope. the end of lies & the beginning of transmuting truth.

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There is a chance for both difficult change and loving care for ourselves right now. And maybe they are the same thing.

Love from the trail,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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