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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

 

 

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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

 

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One Night at the Temple

This summer is the return to my musical roots. I have seen Depeche Mode (for the 18th? time) and will see two other acts soon. Last night, though, was a night at the Temple for a group special to my heart: Erasure. They are a pop-synth duo from England (aren’t all synth-pop duos from England?) and we played one of their songs as the recessional at our wedding. Some of their lyrics are tattooed on my husband’s shoulder as a tribute to me (and I also have lyrics on my shoulder as a tribute to him).

I had never seen them before, my husband had only seen them one other time. The lead singer, Andy Bell, had a cold, but he sang his heart out. The backup singers were gorgeous. The crowd was full of people who knew the music (so, no one under 30) and it was one of the best, simplest shows I’ve seen.

You can catch their playlist here. It was a good mix of old and new. But my faves are below. Enjoy!

Breathe | Video

Stood the test of time
Though I treated you rough you were always kind
I let my head rule my heart now I’m feeling so lonely
And I feel it’s the deal
You’re letting me go, gonna go

Breathe and I breathe
Hollow without you, I can’t live without you
And I’m in love with you

 

Blue Savannah | Video

Blue Savannah song
Oh blue Savannah song
Racing ‘cross the desert
At a hundred miles an hour
To the orange side
Through the clouds and thunder

My home is where the heart is
Sweet to surrender to you only
I send my love to you

 

Erasure: 2018.
(If you know the owner of these images, please tell me
so I can properly attribute.)

 

Chains of Love | Video

How can I explain when there are few words I can choose
How can I explain when words get broken

Do you remember there was a time, ahaha
When people on the street
We’re walking hand in hand in hand
They used to talk about the weather
Making plans together
Days would last forever

Come to me, cover me, hold me
Together we’ll break these chains of love

 

Love to Hate You | Video

For every Casanova that appears
My sense of hesitation disappears
Love and hate what a beautiful combination
Sending shivers up and down my spine

And the lovers that you sent for me
Didn’t come with any satisfaction guarantee
So I return them to the sender
And the note attached will read
How I love to hate you
I love to hate you
I love to hate you
I love to hate you

 

I Love Saturday | Video

If they’d ever have told me that I’d find true love in every way
Would I cry ’til tomorrow? Would I keep the non-believers away?
Was I shy? Was I good? With this foolish heart
Did I try to deny we would fall apart?

 

Erasure: Oh, the 90s!

 

Angel | Video

See how much you mean to me
You’re my electric symphony in blue
Just one look in your eyes, maybe I was hypnotized by you

You told me on the telephone of a picture so serene
And the beat goes on, feels like a fever burning & I say

Yes to your love and there’s no secrets
High and ascending, delving deeper
Fly like an angel wings unfurling
Fanning the flames of love eternal

 

Always | Video

Open your eyes I see
Your eyes are open
Wear no disguise for me
Come into the open

Always, I want to be with you
And make believe with you
And live in harmony, harmony oh love

 

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

That’s it for today, fellow travelers. Big love from me in the bathroom at the House of Blues, yelling at my kids, that “I love (them), but I’m at a concert!!!”

Joanna :: xoxo

PS- Just because we’re visiting the 90s, I will also add Dancehall Days (by Wang Chung, I know…). “Take your baby by the wrist, and in her mouth an amethyst…”

 

 

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Sunday Prayers

Hello, fellow spiritual travelers, my broken-but-working-on-it peeps. Life has been changing and things are delightfully good, and I’m so glad to be who I am, the age I am, and where I am (holy shit, yes!). And I am going to sink deep into this feeling, because it doesn’t come around often.

Where my heart is at these past few days…

 

“Tantra says sex is very deep because it is life. But you can be interested in Tantra for the wrong reasons. Do not be interested in Tantra for the wrong reasons, and then you will not feel that Tantra is dangerous. Then Tantra is life-transforming…

It has been asked, ‘what is the central subject matter of Tantra?’ The answer is you! You are the central subject matter of Tantra: what you are right now and what is hidden in you that can grow, what you are and what you can be. Right now you are a sex unit and unless this unit is understood deeply you cannot become a spirit, you cannot become a spiritual unit. Sexuality and spirituality are the two ends of one energy.”

Osho

| I’m not sure that I’d agree with all of this, because I believe our sexuality and spirituality nourish each other- that’s been my experience. But, yes, you are the central subject matter of Tantra. |

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

“This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.”

Terry Tempest Williams

| This is how to have faith, and also to be alive. I think being alive is its own act of faith. |

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

Life on Earth

Wild Horses

A Youth Written in Fire

| Snow Patrol’s new album is really different. And I like it. Gary Lightbody – former priest and current poet – hits some very deep places in his own psyche. It’s quite beautiful to listen to. |

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

Images from my ‘beautiful’ board are inspiring me and keeping me grounded lately. Summer’s passion is finding it’s way into old frescoes and fields of poppies. When the humidity rests atop my skin, I pull my hair up from my neck, sweat with a smile in the shade, and dream of Paris in the Fall.

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

Big love from this gorgeous, hot day and my happy heart,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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Making Old Dreams Today

This past Saturday, my husband and I attended our senior prom. Not a joke! For the last four years we’ve been going to something called the “Grown Ass Prom” in our town. It’s a night for adults to dress up, have a good time, drink (!), and do what they actually wanted to do back when they were 18.

One of the reasons I love going is because there is an element of ‘pretend’ about it all: adults are re-creating a past event to make the memories they wish they had made years ago. For instance: going as your true trans self, taking your gay or lesbian partner and getting those terrible prom photos together, taking your partner who you didn’t know in high school. And dressing how you want and just having a really great time doing whatever you want because you’re a fucking adult now who knows what they like. Not to mention the guarantee that you’re going to get laid afterwards. It’s glorious.

So, this was our fourth year attending. Our ‘senior’ year. And it was definitely the most fun we’ve had because we knew what we were doing and we knew how to make the best of it.

Our first year was about creating the memory of having prom together because we couldn’t have done that when we were 18. At that time, we lived in completely different parts of Washington state. My beloved is also three years older than I am, so it was highly unlikely he would have looked at me twice in high school. (He says he would have, but I disagree.) We tried to fit the ‘prom’ mold from days of yore.

 

This is the best of the photos, so I’m going with it. 

 

My own Lloyd Dobler.

 

We wore matching outfits. I wore something that looked like a ‘prom’ dress from the 1990s. It was my first few months into treatment for hypothyroidism so I didn’t feel great and it sort of shows. But we had a great time dancing (one of our favorite things to do together) and it felt like we had gone to prom together. We made a new memory we wished we had from our past.

Our second year was even better. I was feeling very normal, thyroid-wise, and knew exactly how I wanted to look and feel. I bought a leather dress, black pumps, and got my hair done in a mohawk (fauxhawk). I looked and felt exactly the way I wanted to. My husband looked fucking fabulous as his ‘Adam Ant’ self. We both felt like our own best version of ourselves.

 

I also wore a pair of black Chuck Taylor’s, cuz who dances in heels?

 

I had a vision of love / and it was all that you’ve given me…

 

This second year wasn’t about completing some old/new memory as much as it was about being who we were to the Nth degree and just having a good time. We danced our assess off; the husband took home a dancing award.

Last year was our third year (junior year!) and we had a group of friends to go with. This year we were energized by going with our friends for their first time with Grown Ass Prom. My thyroid was on the fritz again last year and so I also wasn’t feeling 100% myself, but I had a good time picking out some leather-look leggings and pouring myself into them. The husband went ‘balls to the wall’ with his outfit- threw on one of everything and owned it. He is a fashion badass and a risk-taker and I love him for it. He also won Prom King for his dancing skills.

 

Red-lipped and ready to dance.

 

Wearing all black does not make you look taller.

 

I think the thing I learned last year was that Grown Ass Prom was better than Halloween for me (which is heresy in New England). It’s better than Halloween because I can choose a new part of myself to explore that doesn’t have to be appropriate for taking children trick-or-treating or keeping me warm. I can play with being vampy or sexy or dominating or punk or whatever. It’s one night where I can be what I dream and see how it fits into my everyday self. And I took that knowledge into this year’s prom.

This year I have basically felt like shit, body wise. My thyroid is overproducing antibodies which blocks one of my medications and so it doesn’t work as well as it should. In the last 4 years I’ve lost half of my hair and gained 10 lbs. I still have a decent amount of hair and I still look cute in clothes, but I don’t feel comfortable in my body in the way that I did the second year of prom. And yet. I feel more sexy, alive, joyful, free, and satisfied than I have in years. Prom this year was about expressing those feelings, even if my body didn’t feel like I wanted it to.

 

Dreaming and doing.

 

Luckily, the shirt comes off.

 

Senior year: the photographer remembered us.

 

It turned out exactly like that. I loved my outfit- gradually lost the white shirt as the evening wore on because corsets are fucking warm when you dance (didn’t know that before!). I loved my hair and makeup and felt like a million bucks with my prom crew (now nine of us!). It was a wonderful night. [Except, swear to g-o-d, the DJ has sucked every year and this was no exception. Four years of terrible DJ-ing. How is that possible? I don’t know, but it’s true.]

While, technically, this was our ‘senior’ year of prom, we will definitely go again. We might try another venue- I think there is one in Massachusetts and one in a different location in Rhode Island, but we will definitely go to one. It’s too much fun to let it pass us by.

I think the thing I most want to say is that it’s important to keep growing and changing and having places to try out who you are. Because I’m not who I was at 20 or 30 or even 40. There is a throughline of consistency, but I am different, and better, than before. Prom gives me a place to play out different roles and experiences with myself, my husband, and my friends, and I think we all need safe places to do that. As well, making memories and meaning of our life is foundational to feeling we have lived well. We need to feel that we have done things we enjoy, feel proud of, lived in alignment with what we most value in order to be proud of our life. Prom is one of the things that helps me make meaning of my life and feel that I have lived joyfully and well.

 

 

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