Full Moon in Taurus

Tonights full moon is for relaxing, lovers, sensuality, and gratitude.

From Carolyn Elliott at WITCH:

Just a heads up – the full moon this Friday will be in Taurus, where the moon is exalted.

What does that mean, “exalted”? 

It basically means that the moon is happiest in Taurus, even happier than in the sign that it “rules” – Cancer. Cancer sure is moon-y and moody, but Taurus is super luxe and relaxed, and the moon loves to be there.

Also: Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of love and romance. 

So if you’ve been looking for a great time to do a love spell, the full moon in Taurus is your prime time. 

It’s an excellent night to have fun with friends and / or to relax in a bubble bath while you contemplate all the bounty that you’re grateful to have.

 

Some beautiful and practical advice from Naimonu James:

y’all, some days we are going to need something that will keep us going when we are unsure we can go on any longer.
then we will remember taurus and shout in delight, for it is taurus who knows that existing is more than enough. who knows the power of song and dance to bring us joy on the coldest nights. dear taurus knows that sometimes getting comfortable is more than enough work for one day. it is taurus that remind us that work without the promise of a warm bed and a delicious meal is probably the wrong work to be doing.
as the sky goes dark and the weather turns cold, may we remember our inner taurus and allow them to pull us toward joy too easily forgotten. this saturday november 4 at 12:23 am new orleans time, when the moon grows heavy in taurus, be joyful. indulge in what truly makes you happy to be alive. set aside your work for a moment and do whatever it is that puts a smile on your face and roots you into glee. if cannot think of that one thing that enlivens you, find someone who can support you in this crucial work. as hard as it may be, as silly as it may seem, be joyful. if that is simply too hard for you to do, and you would like for it to be a bit easier, what needs to shift so you can access your joy, your birthright? how can you step up for yourself this taurus full moon and build that life that allows you to enjoy your existence?

 

From Aeolian Heart Astrology:

On this Full Moon night, your receptivity to sensual pleasures will be greatly enhanced, strengthening your spirit and nourishing your soul. By grounding consciousness back into your body, this Full Moon will illuminate your senses, bringing new sparkle into your eyes, new softness into your hands, and a new melting into your mouth. Thus, your consciousness will expand as the wonder of infinity is revealed through the simplest enjoyments.

 

Enjoy this full moon, friends. Whatever of these perspectives calls to your heart, mind, or most sensual body, go with it.

 

 

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the complexity of accepting joy

I am learning to accept joy in my life.

Which sounds like a strange thing to say, except that my life has almost always revolved around the emotion of bittersweetness…of almost getting what I want. Or of getting what I want, but in a slightly different way than I imagined. Or of hoping for joy, but watching it pass me by to one extent or another.

This past August/September there was a great upheaval within me- I clearly saw an old pattern in my emotional system. The pattern is this: I can only have what I want after great difficulty.

The world will give me what I desire, but never quite the way I want it, or only after I’ve hurt myself in the process of getting it. (Sacrificing too much energy in mind, body, or spirit.)

It probably started when I was six and was diagnosed with diabetes (type 1). From that day onward I never quite got what I wanted again. I could have dessert, but only angel food cake. I could only have candy if I had a low blood sugar. I could have dessert, but only once a month. I think I learned quickly that I could never have what I really, truly wanted. And when you get that message as a small person, it’s tough to clean it out.

In some places this story played out over and over again. Never quite the car I wanted. Never quite the house I wanted. The dress never looked quite right. The shoes were lovely, but the wrong size. The little disappointments were always mine.

Of course, I accepted it. This was my life, this was how things go. The spiritual traditions say this kind of acceptance of whatever comes is a good thing; a practice many wish to achieve.

I learned to tone down my desires. What I got was ‘good enough.’

But then…
but then…

Six years ago, desire swept through my body with such intensity that I could no longer deny that I wanted things exactly as I wanted them. I wanted things I have never wanted before. I wanted. I desired. The desire had precision.

And I had to own it.

It took me two coaches to understand that 1- desire was okay again and 2- it was okay to name my desires and seek to fulfill them. It was okay to be blown wide open with desire. I also had to learn the nuance between ‘desire’ and ‘want’ because not every fantasy can be fulfilled.

Which was the hardest goddamn lesson. To go from very little desire- because why bother?- to heated, pulsing desire, and then to recognize that fulfillment may not be in the cards anyway. Same old goddamn story as always.

But then, this August.

I got tired of living with whatever Life served of my desires.
I got frustrated with spending too much life blood to achieve my goals.
I wanted what I wanted, the way I wanted it. 

Was that too much to ask?
Just once?
Just when it really mattered?
Couldn’t I have the thing/person/experience as desired with no extra effort, just…just a bit?
Life is inherently unfair, I know.
And I know I get a lot of what I want; this isn’t ingratitude for what I have.
It is the pleasure of having it exactly as I desired.

 

 

I began to ask for what I wanted. Exactly what I wanted.
I’m fucking old enough to know what I want and ask for it.
I began to do just that.

But digging out an old piece of emotional software takes time; we must have patience in the practice so we can get somewhere and see our progress. I have learned three things so far:

Asking for what I want is frightening and liberating. Just asking- ‘can we chat?’ ‘I’d like to connect with you,’ ‘I want the blue one,’- has been a big step. Asking the person, the clerk at the dress shop, my friends, was different; I haven’t done that in a long time. It is one thing to accept my desires. It is another to name them, out loud, to other people and ask them to help me get what I want.

The risk of asking is vulnerability at another level. I have been told ‘no’ to a couple of my requests. Of course it hurts at one level or another. To want is to open our heart and then…to not receive it? Yes, it hurts. But what I have learned is that this risking is what it is to be alive. All the feelings that go along with wanting what I want, asking for it, waiting, hoping, and not getting- those are the feelings of being human. It is disappointment but at least in my disappointment I am alive, trying.

[I am also pondering when to fight for a thing, a person, an experience you want and when not to. Sometimes other people are scared or don’t have enough info (or maybe they’re agoraphobic, how do I know?). Do I fight to get what I want by reaching out again- even looking like a fool to do so? I don’t know. Sometimes it looks like Life hands me awkward second chances, but I rarely see them in the moment. I’m trying to figure it out. But I’m new to this piece and so I make mistakes. I am very good at learning, however, I wish I didn’t have to learn by fucking some things up.]

Receiving joy is complex in a way I didn’t understand. When I shut myself down to true desire I also shut myself down to receiving that which I desire (joy, connection, fun, a cute shirt, etc.). It’s one thing to throw out the pitch, it’s another to have your hands open, ready to have the ball come back at you. I have had to practice opening to joy, opening to getting what I want (the way I want it). [And PS- this is zero about the Law of Attraction which I think is bullshit.]

Two weeks ago, I had a day so full of joy I was beaming. I think I was lit up like a Christmas tree- I was smiling with my whole body. The day had gone so spectacularly well- a new tattoo, a little innocent flirting, a dress that made me feel just right, my twentieth wedding anniversary, heading out to my favorite restaurant, and a dozen other things that I was able to receive and enjoy. I truly felt like I was so full of joy I might actually explode into some kind of happiness ectoplasm if anyone touched me. (But, I don’t know, maybe happiness ectoplasm feels good when it’s all gloppy on you??) Fifteen little things had shown up as I’d imagined them and it was wonderful.

 

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

 

I’ve not had a day like that since (and even some of the fallout from that day has been tough), but I think it means I’m heading in the right direction. The point here is that I have learned plenty about being blown open by desire, but receiving those desires? That is a complex emotional hurdle I didn’t know I had. Not getting what I wanted at a young age put a web over so  many parts of myself- desire, wanting, getting, receiving. And while I know that I’ll never get everything the way I want it every time (and would I really want that anyhow?), asking for what I really want has been a developmental step, as has opening myself to receive those things/people/experiences. But it’s a step and a challenge that is helping me feel more alive, more in touch with my senses, my emotions, even in the bittersweetness that I want to get away from. But maybe this is how we grow- a few steps out of what we don’t want, a few steps towards what we do. I hope so.

 

 

[And, jesusfuck, if this doesn’t make any sense, I’m sorry. I’ve realized in the last two days that the muscles of writing can atrophy. I really need to be here more.]

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Samhain | All Saints Day | Dia de los Muertos

Today is All Saints Day for many in the Catholic and Anglican faith traditions. A celebration of the saints who have meant something important to them or their journey.

It is also the Dia de los Muertos in many Spanish-speaking countries (fyi, Dia de los Muertos is not ‘Mexican Halloween;’ it is a holiday all of its own with rich traditions, symbols, and context).

And, of course, last night was Halloween in America, a tradition that was originally about the acceptance of death and the very human desire to flee from it, or to dance with it in the dark.

For me, Halloween also represents the biggest step of the descent into darkness for the circle of the year. I know we are supposed to celebrate the shift into darkness at the Autumnal equinox, but it never feels quite dark enough or cold enough for me. So, yesterday was the doorway into death for this year. This phase is pretty much always the time of year where I learn a life-changing lesson and carry it both down into the depths of my dark heart and then grow up through it into the Spring.

And, in all Life’s wisdom and wit, we were without power for the last 2 days (it finally came back on last night). We have been sitting with pillars of candles on our table, reading and talking (and the kids bored out of their skulls), and noticing the dark and how it seeps in as the sun goes down.

Our electricity- and that of most of our neighborhood- went out with a storm on Sunday, Oct 29. A tree on our property gave its life to one final dance with the electrical wires and an explosive electrical canister. [fwiw, they give off spectacular, blinding blue sparks when hit.]

Yesterday the arborist came to chop up the tree. And while I was glad to have it off the power pole, I also cried as they cut her down, into massive chunks. Her life was truly done and over; the season of death deeply upon us.

 

 

I have been thinking about my perspective as an interfaith minister- what ‘interfaith’ means and if it is even a valid idea [I’ll share about that later]- and I don’t want to appropriate any tradition that isn’t mine, but none of the above traditions are mine and I still need a way to honor the darkness of this phase of the year.

Raised Protestant and now living something Tao-Pagan-Buddhist, I’m not sure how to honor this time of year. Samhain (SAH-win) is closest to me genetically (Gaelic…waaaaay back there in the double-helix code) and feels as close as I can get to a Taoist perspective (in harmony with Nature) that feels right with what’s actually happening in Nature.

But, because the veil between worlds is thin at this time of year, I also feel the pull of honoring my dead. And the weight of tradition that comes from honoring saints also appeals. But ‘appealing’ doesn’t mean I can steal it for my own uses.

Can I put these things into the tradition of Samhain? Because it is the end of the year in Nature, can I also give honor to that which as been dead for many seasons- my family, friends, and ‘saints’ of many stripes? If I could, I would expand the definition this way so that the celebration and recognition would encompass all that I need it to. I suppose I need a bigger container for all that I have experienced; perhaps that is why ‘interfaith’ appeals so much.

So today I wanted to honor the end of this year. To remember my dead. To let go of what’s done. And to welcome the dark, cold, fallow time of the year. And to bless those who have blessed me. The list…

My Papa who showed me how to make snapdragons talk and fed me snap peas from the vine.
My great grandma who loved to dress me up and take me out; who also discovered my diabetes.
My islet of Langerhans, dead nearly 36 years.
My great grandpa.
My father-in-law, who never met most of his grandchildren.
The tree from our front yard.
A gaggle of great aunts and uncles who I know watch over all the descendants of Margaret.
Our old house.

I also lay on the altar of death my ideas of who I thought I was.
The part of me who thought she always had to be kind to move ahead.
The belief that some savior is the net for this chaotic world.
My lack of belief in my intuition.
Guessing that I am strong; I know I am, even in my softness and vulnerability.

I name the saints of my life (no one you will recognize, but very important to my journey):
Ms. B who believed in my writing.
Mr. B who opened my mind and showed  me symbolism.
Steve B who gave safe boundaries to my budding soul.
Monica and Michelle who told me desire was okay, welcome, gorgeous.
Gabrielle’s son, for showing me how to sweat my prayers.
LMM and William Stafford for the way they wove spells with words.
Jennifer who pioneered self-care for white women.
The town of Exeter, Devonshire for red mud, one-footed ducks, and lessons out the wazzoo.
Seattle- I carry the memories of time that is dead and long gone.

Tonight I will light candles and recognize the dead ones, my own changes, and give thanks to those who have guided me, dead or alive. The end of the year is here and I am ready to lay it down. I will enter the dark with the support of tradition- and the delight of truth.

 

 

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I am clearing a space.

I am clearing a space
here, where the trees stand back.
I am making a circle so open
the moon will fall in love
and stroke these grasses with her silver.
I am setting stones in all four directions,
stones that have called my name
from mountaintops and riverbeds, canyons and mesas.
Here I will stand with my hands empty,
mind gaping under the moon.
I know there is another way to live.

| Morgan Farley |

 

Photo by Beat Schuler on Unsplash

 

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transitions

It’s late, but I want to get this out before it magically turns to September.

I’ve been going through some big transitions this summer.

I moved. Into a house I really, really love. It’s every house I’ve ever wanted to live in, plus all the best parts of houses I have lived in. It has straight walls (which my Victorian did not!), central heating and air like in the West Coast, a loft (a loft!), fireplaces with brick and roughhewn mantles, and two baths, and a giant master bedroom. I am just in love with all of it. And I’ve wanted to be in love with a house so much- it all feels like exactly the right thing. It took a lot to get us here (including at least 3 really amazing meltdowns by me), but I am really enjoying the process of making different spaces and figuring out new systems and connecting my family in new ways in this house. The house is associated with the card of the High Priestess in the tarot. It’s a card of magic and family and sovereignty – all of which I feel keenly here. And the light! And the trees! I could go on, but I won’t bore you. I love my house and getting here has been a huge transition. But we’re on the other side and it’s so good.

I’ve healed and let go. One thing I am really learning and integrating is creating and holding boundaries- who and what will be in my life and to what extent? I am answering that in ways that make me happy. And the more I do it, the more confident I become and the better I feel. I think it’s an act of huge self love to say no to something that isn’t right for you- and that includes people, even ones who are your family, even ones who love you. I feel like I’m slashing tendrils of energy-suckers right off my soul. I feel better than I have in a long time.

I have entered a new realm of sensuality. One thing I came to understand this summer is what it means to let go completely into submission with a partner. I used to hate the phrase and idea of ‘being used’ as a woman, but now I understand it differently. ‘Use me’ – for me – means that I open myself as a tool for the pleasure of another, precisely and only because being with them brings me in touch with my deepest desires and pleasures. Any way he touched me would be satisfying, so I offered myself to him in ways that do the same for him; he was my pleasure, so I let him choose his own pleasure from me. Perhaps it isn’t ‘use’ but ‘fulfillment’- “let me fulfill you, partner, in any way you wish, because my desire for you is so deep and complete.” Yes, I think that comes closer to the truth. And how beautiful this truth is, how incredibly vulnerable and receptive and satisfying.

I’m learning to be a better ally in the fight against ‘-isms.’ One thing I have been learning lately, and I will talk about this more later, is that I needed to shut up and listen in order to be a better ally. It is better to be quiet than to open my mouth and fuck up. Listening also means I am not another white person consuming bodies of color. (I discontinued a budding conversation with a writer I admired very much because I was deeply afraid of doing just that- being another white woman who consumes black, male bodies. To be an ally, first you have to get off of the Becky train. Then you listen.) So I have been watching and learning. I have changed my language and watched myself think before I speak to try and catch as many of the ‘-isms’ I perpetuate as I can. I am beginning to speak up about such things- to help with emotional labor and not ask the marginalized to tell me how to do this job. So…listening and learning to do this imperfectly. It’s another step on the journey which I am committed to for as long as live.

Learning the hard lesson of surrender. Getting into our house was a bit of a paperwork nightmare. We also had to move several times (temporary housing!) and it ruined me a bit. There came a time when I had to just say, “this is how it’s going to go and I can either go or get dragged.” It brought me back to Taoist philosophy, honestly. When I left Christianity, Taoism was the most stripped down religion I could find. And it nourished me deeply. In Taoism, one follows ‘the tao’ or ‘the way’ -which is the energy of life. I had to learn to let go and follow ‘the way’ – because that was all there was to do in many moments this summer. I’m remembering that lesson and integrating it these past few weeks.

Figuring out what the fuck to do with this site. I pondered about this site a lot this summer. What had I created and used it for? Was that useful, valuable, serving? What was the foundation of this blog? Was that still true? And what I found out- and what I also decided- is that this site is a place for me to talk about and work through what brings me alive. My tagline is “Honest. Erotic. Rebellious. With God.” but it probably should have been, “Honest. Sensual. Rebellious…” because the sensual is what brings us alive in all realms of life. I think this means I’ll be posting more regularly, but also only when it’s something that sparks me to aliveness.

Every astrological everything says things are going to shift this next month. Into something easier, but also strangely wonderful. I hope so, because I feel like I’m already there. I’ve transitioned into someone new these past two months- someone I know better, who has more facets (including negative ones), but who also loves and accepts herself more than ever before. I’m better and more mature. And I’m ready to transition into what comes next here. Stay tuned, fellow travelers.

Big love,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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