Author Archive | Joanna M.

Nightswimming

For whatever reason, this time of year, I get nostalgic for my youth. My early adulthood. It’s the quiet nights and the return of the dark, I think. Summer is ending and so is the summer season of my life.

Last night my husband played the R.E.M. album Automatic for the People at dinner. We usually listen to 70s Lite Rock or the k.d. lang station on Pandora. But he put on that album instead. And “Nightswimming” came on. For whatever reason, I was 15 again, and taking my first swim at dusk. The sun setting, a fire near our campsite, my friends and I in the water. Sometimes splashing, sometimes quiet. I watched the stars come out floating in the water. And then changed into clothes, listened to Van Halen by the fire, and stayed up waaay too late laughing and flirting and talking shit.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done that.

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

|| “Nightswimming” by R.E.M. ||

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse
Still, it’s so much clearer
I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge
The moon is low tonight

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
I’m not sure all these people understand
It’s not like years ago
The fear of getting caught
Of recklessness and water
They cannot see me naked
These things, they go away
Replaced by everyday

Nightswimming, remembering that night
September’s coming soon
I’m pining for the moon
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming

You, I thought I knew you
You I cannot judge
You, I thought you knew me
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath
Nightswimming

The photograph reflects, every streetlight a reminder
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night

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

It’s time for a night swim again, I think. My 43 year-old self needs it. The quiet. The water. The stars. As an adult, friends have pools and waterside homes. But there’s a lake around, too. I just need to sneak in. At dusk. Nightswimming.

Love from the path,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0

New Moon in Leo

Hello, friends and fellow travelers! I hope this post finds you well. Tonight is the new moon in Leo (with a solar eclipse), and you know how I love a dark moon. So, here’s what our guides have to tell us.

 

From BigSkyAstrology:

But at this New Moon in Leo—a Solar Eclipse, with the Sun and Moon square Jupiter in Scorpio—the impulse to break with the past and hurdle toward a new adventure is at least as strong as Leo’s desire to bloom where we’re planted. Breaking with the past can be very liberating, and sometimes the only way to initiate change is to act boldly and irrevocably. At this New Moon, we have a better than average chance to make changes that really mean something.

We live in reckless, destructive times. But seen another way, the world is in the process of recreating itself, and we are weaving change and upheaval into the fabric of our new future as we go along. Sanity tells us to be afraid, but faith whispers that there are no false moves now; however random, even capricious these changes appear to be, they are embedding themselves into our new foundation like stray river rocks and sea glass.

Perhaps this Leo New Moon season calls for a new glyph for the Sun – not a closed circle with a dot in the middle, but rather a labyrinth. A labyrinth has a single, unambiguous route we can follow to the center and back. We set forth in life on a walk through this labyrinth, and no matter which course we take, or how lost we sometimes feel, we’ll inevitably end up precisely where we’re meant to be.

The New Moon is a dark time. It is midnight now in our gardens, and it is tempting to suspect that chaos lurks in every shadow and to obey the limitations of fear without question. But while the New Moon in Leo is invisible to us just now, just below the horizon in the night sky, it’s still there, and we feel it even if we can’t see it. It reminds us that we are works in progress, and we are creating, every day, the selves we want to be and the world we want to live in. Even if there is much in the world, and in us, that could be better, Leo reassures us that it will be—because we are free to be whatever we want to be, and because there is so much good in us.

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

 

From MysticMamma.com:

Oh the power of presence. Our presence = our power. In each moment we live we have the opportunity to stand in it. Truly stand.

Our Lion heart is so big. Our need to connect and feel loved is so strong, but sometimes looking for that external validation is what trips us.

Our inner Queen and King remind us to abide in the heart of Love. Roar who we are relative to Creation. Feel in our body that we are worthy and wonderful.

With compassionate love for Self, respect for Self and trust in Self, we can safely stand as Queen and King of our own jungle.

Our inner well is continually filled through our connection to the land and this animate universe that we are part of.

Once we are filled from that inner well we can step forth with maturity, poise, and a compassionate open heart ready to hold our pride.

When we anchor that acceptance from within, we create a sense of safety that allows for all to come out and play so together we can revel in the deep passion of Life. 

 

All the energy and intention don’t mean a thing unless you take a step.

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

 

The GoddessCircle tells us:

This eclipse cycle is bringing about big change in our lives. This can include very sudden or unexpected changes to our plans, relationships, lifestyle, living environment, or beliefs. We are reminded to have courage in the face of the unknown and to dare to dream. Take a chance and follow your desires. We are reminded not to get hung up on “how things have been done in the past.” This is a time of striking out in bold, new ways. Thins such as relationships, beliefs, and plans and our idea of our future are put to the test. This eclipse cycle is urging us to release what isn’t aligned with our truth and our desires. We are being reminded in all things as we move forward to follow our heart and to keep only what we want to build our world with. 

Unexpected changes.
Paths shifting.
Have courage in the face of the unknown.
Dare to dream.
Take a risk.
Don’t get stuck on how things were done in the past.
Forge a new path.
Relationships, beliefs, and plans are put to the test. 

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

 

From Bairavee Balasubramaniam (The Sky Priestess):

As we fearlessly engage with with the wisdom and healing of the Heart, we also change patterns in ancestral, past-life, and collective karmic dynamics. There is so much transmutation possible at this time. So much of the old patterns that are rising to the surface to be cleared. 

You are being asked to look at the subconscious emotions and beliefs that allow or deny your access to an innate sense of sovereignty. Look at where you may be holding intense emotions- be it regrets, grief, anger, resentments, envy, false pride, and so on. 

This is exactly why you may want to set the intention to release as we get closer to the solar eclipse in Leo. It may happen at the click of one’s fingers, or it may take longer to manifest. Either way, your desire to release that which weighs you down, or acknowledge or transmute it, or whatever else may be appropriate – is what counts. 

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

I have nothing else to tell you, dear ones, except that it has been rainy here in New England and I have felt slightly more at home this week. It took me ten years here to understand why New Englanders think that a rainy city, like Seattle, would seem so awful- the rain here is warm, the humidity is near constant in parts of the summer, and the wet never quite goes away until the dry heat of the last of August. In Seattle, the rain is always cold, and there is no humidity, and the wet stops when the rain stops. It is nothing like here, and yet, I always feel a bit calmer when the rain comes to New England in the Summer. We had a delightful gully-washer last night and it was grand to be awakened by the rain at two in the morning.

That’s all. Nothing but a note about my favorite weather. It’s been a long day and a strange week. Happy dark moon.

All my love to you,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0

The Lion’s Gate

Today is 8/8 and they call this day ‘The Lion’s Gate’ in astrology. It’s because we are now in Leo (lion) season in the astrological calendar and other than that, I don’t know why they call it that. Ha! But it’s a day that is specially observed each year.

Looking at what various people say online about it, there are a lot of opinions about what today means in light of the fact that we have a solar eclipse on the 11th along with a new moon. I think a theme from all the things I’ve read is that this is the day is a portal. We can make decisions today- perhaps big ones.

In terms of making decisions, many of the planets have been in retrograde these past few weeks- which always shows us something more clearly, more obviously. If you’ve noticed any patterns coming up, or that you’re wanting something, or done with something, that’s probably the energy of the retrograde planets making things clearer to you. You can use today to decide about those things.

Leo is the season of play, having fun, and enjoying life. Leo also teaches us about ourselves- everything from how we express our skills and talents in everyday life right down to who we are in our most deepest self. And everything in between.

I love what Saltwater Stars says:

“You are the life-force you need to be familiar with in order to build trust with yourself and create the conditions, over time, to thrive. 

Stay hydrated, listen to your own body and rhythm, breathe as you can, and if you must use all your energy, focus on getting rid of all the bullshit you don’t want to take with you in this new era.”

That’s a prayer worth memorizing for all time.

I think today is a day for decisions. You decide to be done. You decide to tell them you love them. You decide to never look back. You decide to tell yourself the truth. You decide to feel. It doesn’t have to be something big. It just has to be a step.

Decide. Walk through the portal.
The strength of the lion will help you.

 

Photo by Jenny Marvin on Unsplash

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

I’ve made a few decisions in the last few weeks. Some have been small. Some have brought a sense of deep calm (which is weird, considering they are about big things). I’ve been thinking about this site a lot.

I started it as a place to document my journey through through the Sex Surge. Sort of. I had to find a way to make what was happening to me during that time an okay thing. I looked for the spiritual in sex, for the divinity. Now, in some ways, that’s spiritual bypassing- using spirituality to go around the deep work of a difficult phase or emotion. But, if you’ve been reading for a while, you know I don’t shy away from telling the truth- even the dark, dirty ones. There are plenty of posts here that describe my anguish and frustration with desire, sex, and relationships.

But, I think that what I wanted to know was that sex and desire are, ultimately, okay (because I was taught the opposite as a child). And I know that now. Yes, I still get confused about them. Yes, I still want to fulfill things I shouldn’t (not so much lately, thank goodness). Yes, I still have to look back and remember “I know how to do this.” But I really do know that desire and sex and relationships are good things, high callings, and tools to wield skillfully. And a lifelong journey.

I’ve said other things here. Other ideas about politics and spirituality and racism and pop culture. I have a few more things to say still. But I think I’m coming to understand that the purpose of this site has been fulfilled. I know what I wanted to know back then. I’m not sure I have more to say because you’ve already seen the inside of my heart and my brain in these posts. I will always be changing and evolving and healing and living- and it will be different, but it will also be the same. And is that worth documenting? I’m not sure anymore.

There is a book called The INFJ Writer and one of the things the author says is that INFJs, if they can make art out of their difficulty, will stay with that difficulty until the bitter end. And that has been true here. I also know that as an introverted person (that’s the ‘I’ in INFJ) I share my sensuality and sexuality best with just one or two people. I’m not flashy in my sensuality on a day-to-day basis. And I don’t know that I need to talk about it here anymore, either.

Some of the small changes I’ve been working with lately are things like how I wear my hair. Last summer it was all ponytails- I felt energized and younger in them. This summer I have a kind of Victorian mop on my head that makes my neck look pretty with tendrils falling down my cheeks and across my eyes. I look my age. I’m thinking about letting the gray hair come in naturally. Gray, brown, and purple. I think it would be lovely.  I’ve also gotten better at holding boundaries. I am going to bed on time (like an old lady) and feeling so much better for it. I’ve swayed the social media algorithm to my side and now it’s more fun than it’s been in five years (because no yucky people* bother me anymore, of it they do, I don’t see it). I’m getting better and better at taking good care of myself – loving myself. And these small choices and delights and ideas tell me I am changing, too.

Living here, inside these posts, sharing my ideas and perspectives, it’s still very alluring. I will need to think more about whether I am done here. Because this space was always for me. I’m grateful to anyone who reads or finds what I say useful. But it was always a place for me to navel gaze and create and express- and I’m not sure I want to do that here anymore. I still don’t know. But it’s been on my mind, so I wanted to let you know.

I hope you’re all well, fellow travelers. And I hope you take a step into something new today, with the Lion’s Gate as your guide. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be right with your soul.

All my love,
Joanna :: xoxo

* These are folks whose behavior I find distasteful. They’re not yucky, they just get pleasure from bothering me online. They are both men, immature, to whom I offered the world. And when they said ‘no’ and I finally accepted it, they wanted, one way or another, to remain in contact. (What is it about that? When a woman says her final ‘no’ she somehow becomes infinitely alluring. I don’t get it. I know now that immature men get frightened when you offer them the world; they would rather deal with pieces or just the aspects of you they like. Mature men want the whole of a woman/partner. This needn’t be about age, my husband knew, at 24, that he wanted all of me.) So, instead of being the victim of the algorithm, I learned to use it for my own peace of mind.

 

 

0

Summer Lovin’

Happy Lughnasadh! It’s a little late, but this is another turn of the wheel of the year. Today we celebrate where we’ve gotten to so far this year. (And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Imbolc!)

So, have a seat, take a breath, center in your self, and think about where you’ve been so far this year.  Think all the way back to January- where were you then? Where are you now? What growth have you stepped into? What have you changed about yourself or your life? What are you grateful for today that you didn’t even know about in January? I hope it’s a happy celebration.

In honor of that, I’m sharing a list of songs that have been keeping me company this summer. It’s not a playlist, per se, because it’s not at all curated, it doesn’t send me any particular place, it’s just what I’ve been humming to on the radio and Pandora for the last few weeks.

If I Didn’t Know Any Better | Alison Krauss & Union Station

Witness | Sarah McLachlan

All That You Have Is Your Soul | Tracy Chapman

Tennessee Whiskey | Chris Stapleton

All At Once | The Fray

Endless Summer Nights | Richard Marx

The Next Time I Fall | Peter Cetera + Amy Grant

Meet Me Half Way | Kenny Loggins

On My Own | Patti LaBelle ft. Michael McDonald

Make Me Lose Control | Eric Carmen

I’ll Be Over You | Toto ft. Michael McDonald

I guess I’ve got a thing for Michael McDonald? Anyway, these have just been fun to listen to (some of them more bittersweet, which is my favorite emotion). The summer is definitely starting to wind down- I can already see the changes starting to slowly add up. But we still have our big summer trip to come and that’s going to be lots of fun. I’ll post pictures, I promise.

In any case, enjoy the music, celebrate your life and all that you’ve made happen so far this year, and love what’s left of this season.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

0

Full Moon in Aquarius (And a Bunch of Other Shit)

Hey lovelies! I’m sorry I’m late with this post, but yesterday was stacked and stressful and I went to see Boy George and Culture Club, to boot. Which turns out was exactly right because we are going to talk about one of the songs from their set, which was fabulous. I hope you got your cute, spiritual asses outside to actually look at the full moon last night. Did you give her a kiss? I did!

This full moon (which is still doing her thing tonight, my friends) was accompanied by five planets being in retrograde, including our favorite, Mercury. Which means that if you’ve noticed, in the last couple of weeks, what you want more of in your life, and also what needs to move on from your life, the planets are doing their job. Retrogrades are generally about noticing what isn’t working- (which sometimes also correlates with understanding what we do want). So, if you’ve had clarity, or just some general Nudges from Life, in the past week or so- pay attention. That’s what this crazy period is about.

Our beloved Moon was also having her longest eclipse this century (think about that, my beloveds, think. about. it.) and it was a blood moon. So much energy going down. Or maybe going a little crazy.

Here’s what the peeps in the know have to say…

On the Mercury in retrograde, we have The Goddess Circle:

This Mercury Retrograde is occurring in Leo which is telling us to pay attention to where things have slowed down or stalled out when it comes to following our passions, desires, and interests. Leo is the ruler of the heart, and during this Mercury Retrograde we are being asked to look at how we haven’t been honoring the desires and needs of our heart. This can mean looking at relationships that are ongoing, especially in communication or lack thereof. This can be intensified during this time as well as arguments or plans being broken or not panning out. Pay attention right now to who or what keeps on not taking shape. There may be something out of alignment here or some old way of doing things that needs to be released in order to try something new. Take a step back during this time and look to fill your own cup. Mercury also brings some communication issues during this time, so make sure that you double and triple check all dates and times for meetings, flights, or events. Make sure you back up technology as there can be issues here as well. This is a good time for working on the details of plans, seeing things in a new light and going within. 

 

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

From Mooncircles.com :

The July 27, 2018 Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse falls in Aquarius, a sign that represents casual friendships and group affiliations based on shared interests. We shake Aquarius’ convivial hand when we head off for Friday night drinks with co-workers, serve on the board of our local astrological organization, or bake cookies for a fundraiser. Some of us are “group” people—Aquarian by nature—and some of us are less so. But few of us can escape the web of sociability altogether.

The Full Moon in Aquarius falls in the height of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s typically the time of year when we celebrate simple, sociable connections with others—a neighborhood cookout, an afternoon at the beach, or yes, happy hour with work friends. But this Full Moon is a lunar eclipse, when relationships are often due for some reevaluation. And Mars, the planet of competition, war, and aggression, has been retrograde in recent weeks, and frustration has been building. So in order to do what’s needed to maintain vibrant and satisfying social connections, we’ll have to pay alms to Mars as well.

When fighting Mars collides with fraternal Aquarius, groups speak with a warlike voice. Perhaps you’ve found yourself embroiled in some nasty social media disputes, testy interchanges with co-workers or customers, or… found some old anger hidden deep in a dark corner of your psychic sock drawer. The embers of ancient disputes are often rekindled during Mars’ retrograde times, and the resulting conflagrations tend to emit noxious fumes.

Aquarius celebrates collectivism, and at this Full Moon we celebrate ties with our like-minded compatriots. But it’s won’t be an easy, uncomplicated happy hour, or a sunny and congenial Saturday afternoon barbecue. To regain goodwill, productivity, and fraternity, Mars demands that we first clean out the dark corners of these relationships, to address any conflicts that keep us from working together as a strong, cohesive group. When a group is stronger on the inside, it can achieve broader goals on the outside—so be brave, clear the air, and fight fair. 

 

Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash

 

From Saltwater Stars (FB only):

“to be psychically plugged in right now is intense.

the aquarius eclipse is opening personal & collective portals.

keywords: awakening. awareness. chaos. erratic. evolution. 

so here’s some of my personal protocol for between now and the August 11 solar eclipse in leo:

keep phone off from 8pm – 11 am
consistent energetic cleansing
don’t respond to everything
stop when you need to stop
protect & nurture your self
write to process”

 

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

From Natalie Sophia at RebelleSociety:

…this full moon has the potential to dramatically change and shift the relationships you have with others. You might find yourself more fully charged with emotions, and might seem to have an easier time expressing what you are feeling to other people. I get the sense of words flowing forth freely without the need to filter yourself.

This could be a really good thing, but please bear in mind that in some cases, where you feel the need to express your anger or frustration with someone’s behavior, the full moon energy could have you saying things you might wish you hadn’t. Aquarians are known to give it to you straight, so stay mindful of what you want to say and know that your point can still be made without the sting of hurtful words.

In terms of relationships, this card makes a lot of sense for this full moon. What needs to be said to clean things up? Where do you need to take more responsibility for how things are between you and yourself? And between you and another? What are you holding on to?

It is time to clean up unhealthy behaviors, thoughts, feelings you have towards yourself and others. Let the energy of the full moon give you the zest and zeal to make the changes necessary in order to elicit more growth. Say the words that need to be said, express the feelings that need to be expressed, and start living from your heart and what feels good to you. 

 

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

Lastly, my favorite, Chani Nicholas:

Eclipses reveal our personal and collective shadow. They expose unconscious habits and patterns. There are times when we are well served to make our burdens, self-doubts, and self-sabotage conscious so that we can be more fully integrated as humans. 

Eclipses signal times of important shifts, changes, and movements in our lives. What happens during eclipse season sets the tone for a long time to come. 

Today’s eclipse calls on our ability to witness the difficulties we’ve come up against. It calls out the aggressive, disruptive, and derailing aspects of life. It is a passionate plea to work through the conflicts of our human experience. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to consciously hold the pain and fear that our anger is usually trying to mask, but there is little else that is so important to do.

We are all called to do our own work. Our own healing. Our own awakening. We are all called upon to be a living example of our values, beliefs, and morals. We can’t change anyone, but in doing the deep investigative work on ourselves we can change.

Performing activism or anything else rings hollow and doesn’t do much but make noise. But life lived from a deep and consistent investigation of our part in a problem can unlock our humanity and reveal solutions that weren’t available to us before. We all need to be engaged in the healing of this world, but each of us, depending on our position and privilege, holds a unique part to play. Knowing ours is key to being an impactful accomplice to justice manifesting in the world, and hopefully in our own lives. We can’t change anyone, but we can double down on our own commitment to the truth, living in all its light and being nourished by its dark and rich depths.

 

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

So, what did Boy George have to do with yesterday’s full moon and all this eclipse and retrograde business? Well, besides the fact that he opened with David Bowie’s, “Let’s Dance” (‘under the moonlight, some serious moonlight’) he also sang the song, “The truth is a runaway train…” And ain’t that the truth? And that would seem to be the truth of this full moon. The truth is here, and while it may be unpleasant or unexpected, it’s best to accept it.

He also sang about what it takes to change ourselves in a song called “Different Man” (you can see the video here). It’s simple to be a different man (or woman or person), you just do it. And really, that’s all we can change in this world.

Take good care of yourselves, fellow travelers. And do the hard things you know are right- the planets are here to help.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0