Archive | Modern sacred texts

New Moon in Virgo :: The Goodbye Experiment

Tonight is a new moon, a dark moon, in Virgo. It’s a moon for cleaning out, letting go, and sort of cleaning house in the way one does when we’re getting ready for another year of school. You clear out the old papers, archive what might be useful later, and just clear things out so new things can begin. That’s what’s up for your life and your soul this next week or so.

I’m not going to share a lot of other people’s perceptions on the new moon. Just one or two. Because you all know where I like to get my info from (type ‘new moon’ and ‘full moon’ in the search bar, if you’ve not been here before). And it’s time for you to find your own way, find the people who speak to your soul’s journey.

Saltwater Stars writes:

on or just after the moon is new is the time to begin fresh practices, projects, and experiments. with neptune in pisces will be opposite the new moon, you’ll get better results if you infuse all your operations with a trust that the multiverse wants to work with you. you don’t have to be or do all the things. if saturn retrograde since april taught us anything, it’s that we literally, actually can’t without a cost. 

with saturn direct, there is something of this feeling of…what’s next? what is the next project? what’s the next plan? what’s the next move? what do we need to optimize, capitalize, or execute right now? these are powerful, ambitious questions. they are important for us to be able to make the most of the time, energy, and resources we have. each moment is a reason to be grateful and that deserves to be honored. 

this moment before the new moon is an invitation to be with those questions without urgency. trust the answers that time brings, trust what you have already accomplished. take inventory – not just of what you’ve done but of what principles are supporting your work ethic. virgo, as an observer of intricate process and interconnectivity, wants us to seed intentions that honor sustainability. because capitalism, urgency, and individualism are killing us. everyday.

saturn helps us create structures of support so we can not just perform accountability, integrity, or responsibility, but actually embody it. saturn retrograde was a reminder that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. not because of some kind of self-hatred, scarcity, or punishment model. but because our relationships, our bodies, our communities need us to be response-able. our relationships, our bodies, our communities need us to be committed to something other than personal ambitions or feel-goodness. our relationships, our bodies, our communities need us. 

I think that’s all you need to know for this new moon.

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

I’ve been listening to George Michael for the last couple of days. I really, really miss him. “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” the entire Older and Songs from the Last Century albums. Bittersweet is my favorite emotion and I’ve been indulging myself. I’m sure it’s part grief. Grief for leaving whatever this site has been to me. Knowing I’m different now. Not sure if I’ll be back. (Don’t worry, the site will stay.) I’m stepping into the ‘in between’ space. It’s a sacred place, I know that. Leaving what’s been and stepping towards something that hasn’t yet shown itself. It is a place of peace and potential. And the only way through is self acceptance and planting seeds…and enjoying the waiting. I’ll dance and read and dream my way through.

There are two pictures that I think capture where I am now and where I’m headed and what I’ve learned here.

 

 

I was doing some art journalling with a friend this weekend. Ripping out pictures and pages that called to me and seeing how the pieces fit together. And there was this: “Quiet naughty on your side.” When I saw the words and the images together it felt like something inside myself fit together like a puzzle, like some missing piece had come home to me.

I know I’m sensual now.
I know I’m sexually expressive now.
And I know it’s all sacred now.
I know I’m not ‘dirty,’ but that I am naughty in the best way.

I also know I’m not super outwardly visible about this. I really reserve my sensuality and my sexual expressiveness for those I deem worthy.

Aaaaaand, I’ve also come to understand that when someone wants you they will pursue you. And I’m happier when I wait for the pursuit. It’s fun to wait behind the door in my silky dress and know that whoever knocks is ready to walk through the doorway into my realm. Because I’m at my best, sensually and otherwise, when I feel safe. (As are most women.)

I know that I will be attracted to other people throughout my life. And I know better how to handle it. (Although, at the moment, I’m really in love with my life and my husband and I’m enjoying the fuck out of that.)

I’m on my own side.
My sensuality is on my side.
My quiet is here to serve and save me.
I’m breathing the fresh, mountain air of self-acceptance.

This is the journey I’ve made in this space. And I’m so grateful for it. All of it.

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

 

 

This is what my altar looks like at the moment. Everything has been put away, because it’s time for a careful selection of what needs and wants to be there now. What is sacred to us changes with time. For many years, Jesus was sacred to me. These days my life, my family, my work, beauty and sensuality are sacred to me. I know there are goddesses waiting to be revered on this altar. But it needs a new shape, new items, new space to reflect what is sacred to me now, after all I’ve learned and become.

There also has to be room for the dark here. Because that’s part of being human. And that’s part of any goddess or god, as well. And it’s part of me, I know now, too. I’m not always hope and learning and light. I will hurt you with words if you cross me too many times. I will bring you down from the inside. And I will leave in such a way that you no longer exist in my world or my heart. I can be unkind. Sometimes I’m cruel. I have darkness within me. But this is part of self-acceptance and knowing that everything is useful, in some way or another. It’s also part of being human. Maybe what I’ve learned here is how to be a human Joanna, instead of a perfect one.

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

This site has been a kind of chapel to me, I think. A place I could go to pray, to talk to god, to talk to other humans, to share my journey, to preach. I have loved it. And I love it still. So, as I leave, I want to offer you some of my favorite prayers. If you ever hear them, you’ll find me inside them. I pray them all the time.

Mysterious Ways | U2

Johnny take a walk
With your sister the moon
Let her pale light in
To fill up your room

You’ve been living underground
Eating from a can
You’ve been running away
From what you don’t understand
Love

She’s slippy
You’re sliding down
She’ll be there
When you hit the ground

It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways

Johnny take a dive
With your sister in the rain
Let her talk about the things
You can’t explain
To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal
If you want to kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel (on your knees boy!)

She’s the wave
She turns the tide
She sees the man inside the child, yeah

It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
Lift my days, light up my nights

One day you’ll look back
And when you see
Where you were held
Down by this love
While you could stand there
You could move on this moment
Follow this feeling

It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
She moves in mysterious ways

Ah oh oh ah huh
Move, move, move, move
She moves with it
She moves me like
Lift my days and light up my nights
Love

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

Still | Alanis Morissette

I am the harm that you inflict
I am your brilliance and frustration
I’m the nuclear bombs if they´re to hit
I am your immaturity and your indignance

I am your misfits and your praises
I am your doubt and your conviction
I am your charity and your rape
I am your grasping and expectation

I see you averting your glances
I see you cheering on the war
I see you ignoring your children

And I love you still
And I love you still

I am your joy and your regret
I am your fury and your elation
I am your yearning and your sweat
I am your faithless and your religion

I see you altering history
I see you abusing the land
I see you and your selective amnesia

And I love you still
And I love you still

I am your tragedy and your fortune
I am your crisis and delight
I am your profits and your prophets
I am your art I am your bytes

I am your death and your decisions
I am your passion and your plights
I am your sickness and convalescence
I am your weapons and your light

I see you holding your grudges
I see you gunning them down
I see you silencing your sisters

And I love you still
And I love you still

I see you lie to your country
I see you forcing them out
I see you blaming each other

And I love you still
And I love you still

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

Looking Through Patient Eyes | P.M. Dawn

Whatever it is I do, I try to think about you.
I have a love for you that nothing hides.
Whatever it is I do, I’m always thinking of you.
I hope you look at me through patient eyes.

I’ve become amused.
I’ve become blind.
I’ve become what I know not breathes.
You seem illiterate to all my emotions.
I stand corrected, how well you read.

You speak the truth, you speak the me.
You feel the love I have yet to find.
I know it’s there, I know it’s there.
But I let the sandcastles kill my mind.

Pathetic me, I long to be you.
They think I’m close but i stand so fat.
The turbulent one sheds a turbulent tear.

I’m Mr. Love only ’cause they starve.
Oil and water, lust and sympathy.
I’ll life and death my way through the sun.
Where originates all the pain that leaves.
My memory a traumatic sponge and sings to you.

Well define my love and attitude.
Open up your mind and it will sing to you.
You can always tell.
But I know remorse so well.
I left reality early due to the lack of love… reason.

Whatever I do, I try to think about you.
I seek the sympathy and I can’t lie.
Whatever it is I do, I’m always thinking of you.
I hope you look at me through patient eyes.

The channel, a professional liar.
How I long to contradict those vibes.
Joni help me, I think I’m falling.
It’s not the love and I quest the why.

I don’t know, If I’m right, I’m right.
But if I’m wrong then show me I’m wrong.
The fear of pity is always awake.
But infinite sympathy completely gone.

It’s the windows, the doors, the passageway to the truth.
Oh my god, it echoes the mind.
In total recall as wild as the deuce.

It’s so deceiving is the clouded heart.
So superficial is the open wound.
I caress the infinite light.
That even at night, overshadows the moon and sings to you.

Well, define my love, that lives with you.
Even when I die, it will still sing to you.
You can always tell if remorse has done you well…
They misconstrued my answers due to the
Lack of love…reason.

Whatever it is I do, I try to think about you.
I seek the sympathy and I can’t lie.
Whatever it is I do, I’m always thinking of you.
I hope you look at me through patient eyes.

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

So, my beloveds. Thank you for taking this trip with me. It’s been fun. It’s been painful. It’s been whatever truth I had to give. And that is also where you will always find me: inside truth, love, and health. Those are my guideposts. I hope you know yours and can live by them.

I don’t know what happens next. Maybe I will be back. Maybe I won’t. But thank you so much for being here, for reading, for following along, and for loving me with your words and support. Whatever the flip side, is I’ll see you there. I love you.

Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0

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

The book of ‘Nanette’

I have believed for many years that sacred truths which serve the best of our humanity will continue to speak even if it seems that we have no scribes or bards or druids to hear them, remember them, and pass them on. And while it may seem that we don’t have these guides in this modern age, I believe we actually do. Justin Bieber’s song writer did it. Britney, Christina, and P!nk have given us a fresh rendition of the Divine Feminine. And in this post I shared three writers who are carrying on the tradition of sacred truth, even in the midst of political chaos and no culturally guiding principles except fame and capitalism. These days I would add Alexis Morgan of the Church of St. Felicia to the mix; she tells the truth and gives no fucks, goddess bless her. The truth tellers are out there. The truth will live even if there are no traditional sacred places or people for it to emanate from. New ways will be found, new ways will be made.

I also believe that lots of things can be a Bible. Many books and TV shows are completely capable of being guides for good behavior, handling bad times, and providing us with archetypes for how to live our life. I am partial to Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Wars, among others.

Like a lot of people, I watched Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Nanette’ (on Netflix) a couple of weeks ago and was deeply moved by it. She said new things. She validated the experience of a lot of women. And she told a lot of truth.

Ms. Gadsby turned the trauma necessary to comedy on its head:

“Punchlines need trauma, because punchlines need tension and tension feeds trauma. I didn’t come out to my grandmother last year because I’m still ashamed of who I am. Not intellectually, but right here [points to heart], I still have shame. You learn from the part of the story you focus on. I need to tell my story properly.” 

And also this:

“I have built a career out of self-deprecating humor and I don’t want to do that anymore. Do you understand what self-deprecation means when it come from somebody who already exists in the margins? It’s not humility, it’s humiliation. I put myself down in order to speak, in order to seek permission to speak, and I simply will not do that anymore, not to myself or anybody who identifies with me. If that means that my comedy career is over, then, so be it.” 

 

She spoke very clearly to men who feel uncomfortable in the MeToo era:

“Pull your socks up. How’s that for humiliation? Fashion advice from a lesbian, and that’s your last joke.”

 

Her words on public (and social media) interaction are wise and so very needed:

“This is about how we conduct debate in public about sensitive things. It’s toxic. It’s juvenile. It’s destructive. We think it’s more important to be right than it is to appeal to the humanity of people we disagree with.” 

 

For many women I know, Ms. Gadsby’s words about rebuilding ourselves after hardship (whatever it may have been) resonated deeply:

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.”

[Blessed be, blessed be, blessed be. Which is how pagans say ‘amen.’]

 

And this, which is for all of us who are broken:

“To be rendered powerless does not destroy your humanity. Your resilience is your humanity. The only people who lose their humanity are those who believe they have the right to render another human being powerless. They are the weak. To yield and not break, that is incredible strength.”

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

I do not believe that just because something is popular it should be made sacred (far from it). ‘Nanette’ isn’t just popular, though. It speaks truth. It pulls back the curtain and shows the truth- bloody, messy, awful. But it also gives hope in the form of truth- that we can be kind, that we can rebuild ourselves, that we can be resilient and in that resiliency find our strength.

Ms. Gadsby’s words deserve a space in the modern sacred texts, a book in the modern ‘Bible.’ They are sacred because they are true. And true, perhaps, in a way we haven’t understood before. Or rather, true in a way we haven’t understood because these words were not allowed to live in the light before. Yes, that is why they are sacred- they tell a story that has always been true, but just not allowed to live openly.

Here is to your own sacredness and resiliency and truth.
Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0

Oh, my, my. Oh, hell, yes.

 

Photo by Frank Flores on Unsplash

 

The Serpent Manifesto

Woman-
Go now and build a madness nest
a treasure chest
a place to rest
so every woman who is seeking solid ground can land her feral dancing
can wail her prayers and chanting
her no apology passion
and her sacred, soulful ranting

This is our demand
This is the voice of snakes
and the psalms of hands
All your sisters before you- they knew
All your sisters before you- they walked through this fire, too
They faced the shaming and the shunning
Yet they fanned the holy humming
Then they welcomed a new coming

We need your wildness, Woman
We need your wolf howl, Woman
We need your deep scowl, Woman
We need your truth vow, Woman

We need it as much as we need
your care taking
We need it as much as we need your love making
Because Kings and Queens- they’re one
Because divided kingdoms are done

The world needs all of you, but more importantly- you need all of you- the rushing river cluster star loud scream soft melt hard thrust slither kiss ALL of you

YOU need your wildness, Woman

And it’s not going away
it’s not giving up on you
it’s hunting you like a focused warrior
Ruling you like a golden empress
Rocking you like an ancient cradle
Injecting your life with
holy
healing
venom.

| Jocelyn Edelstein |

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

When you want some of this magic,
when you think you might be ready to beg for it,
come find me.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0

Modern Hymnal: We Belong

I haven’t thought about the modern hymnal for a long time, but this song came on the radio tonight, and I knew I wanted to add it. There probably should be a whole section in my modern hymnal for songs about rain; I’ll have to write that post sometime.

Tonight we had a lovely thunderstorm at my house. The sky was almost a charcoal gray, waiting for the rain to finally gather itself into fat drops and begin the short deluge, like angry water balloons splashing all over you. There was lightning and thunder and when it was all done the eery yellow light that seeps from the ground and gradually opens up to the sky as the clouds part. It was the kind of perfect rain that makes the heart of this Seattle girl feel at home in this strange land.

And Pat Benetar’s wonderful song was playing while all this happened. Always a favorite and glad to add it to the modern hymnal.

What’s in your sacred, personal hymnal, friends? What songs always delight you? Or fill your heart? Or remind you of something important, beautiful, or lost? I wish we could sit down together and talk about it.

 

Photo by Joy Stamp on Unsplash

 

We Belong

Many times I tried to tell you
Many times I cried alone
Always I’m surprised how well you cut my feelings to the bone
Don’t want to leave you really
I’ve invested too much time to give you up that easy
To the doubts that complicate your mind

We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better
We belong, we belong, we belong together

Maybe it’s a sign of weakness when I don’t know what to say
Maybe I just wouldn’t know what to do with my strength anyway
Have we become a habit? Do we distort the facts?
Now there’s no looking forward
Now there’s no turning back
When you say

We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better
We belong, we belong, we belong together

Close your eyes and try to sleep now
Close your eyes and try to dream
Clear your mind and do your best to try and wash the palette clean
We can’t begin to know it, how much we really care
I hear your voice inside me, I see your face everywhere
Still you say

We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better
We belong, we belong, we belong together

We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better
We belong, we belong, we belong together

We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder…

| Songwriters: Daniel Anthony Navarro / David Eric Lowen |

Find the video here.

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

G’night from a happy girl, sitting in the rain.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

0