This week will include a full moon, a blue moon, a super moon, a full lunar eclipse at 5:30am on the 31st if you live in the western part of the USA. SENSITIVE MOON TIMES!
Full moon of Leo. Embrace creative energy! Embrace drama energy! Embrace the self, heart, vitality, warmth, self-worth!
Right now, I am in silence, on some land in California. I will be in silence until the end of February. I’m telling you this because even though you are probably not in silence for a month if you are reading this, I want to include you in this silence.
Since I was very young I had a sense of an inner life. And so I was drawn to people and ideas that referenced and encouraged this internal world. Years ago, when I learned that people spent long periods of time in silence - not just monks but everyday people - I immediately knew it was something I wanted to do. But from the perspective of the activism I was immersed in at the time, it was an incredibly selfish thing to do and I wasn’t interested in “being selfish.” So I told myself I couldn’t spend a lot of time in silence, because then I wouldn’t be contributing in a useful way, and I definitely wanted to do that. Somehow I decided that spending some time in silence was not a way to contribute and be useful.
I continued to spend some years working with other activists to change the nightmare that is the prison system in California and the USA. And the longer I did this, the more I saw people burn out in this attempt to transform the injustice of this system. Including myself. I noticed that this burnout seemed to have a lot to do with ideas about what was selfish and what wasn’t. That there was a lot of judgment about what was selfish and what wasn’t. As my burn out increased, I started to question my own ideas about this very thing, and on a whim a few years ago I signed up for a silent retreat.
I still can’t explain the transformation that happened for me during that time - how much it changed my ideas about almost everything, specifically around what is selfish. What does labeling something 'selfish' do to it? In what ways do you prohibit your own movement and keep certain things off limits when you call them 'selfish'?
These days I actually don’t know what is selfish and what is not. The truth feels more moment to moment, person to person than it used to. Our paths involve so much complexity, and everyone’s story and offerings are different.
Lately I try to think less about whether something is selfish or not, and more about whether it feels expansive or contracting in my body. Most of the effects of what I do are out of my control. I consider it my job to listen as deeply as I can, and respond to what I hear. I mean this in an esoteric way, in terms of listening to my ‘inner voice’ and I also mean it in a literal way, in terms of listening to the people I love, my own physical body, my surroundings, people I don’t love. If we’re lucky we’ll live a while longer, and in the context of living a while longer a month in silence isn’t that long. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop doing all of the things that are about directly, tangibly offering what I can to change things. It means that I will spend a concentrated amount of time refining my ability to listen, so that I can respond to what I hear when I’m back to interacting in a noisier kind of way.
Feel free to book astrology readings with me and/or write to me - I will respond as soon as I get back in the end of February. I thank you in advance for your patience.
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Question - When was the last time you cried?
Meditation - Freely emoting.
Assignment - Full moon - a great opportunity to feel it all. This week say yes to feeling. Let it be big.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Question - What do you believe in?
Meditation - Believing in __________
Assignment - What does belief give a person? What are positive examples of belief around you? What do you believe in? Make a list of the things. Let this full moon connect you to the feeling of belief and let belief help you, even when it's not your first instinct.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Question - How often do you contemplate history?
Meditation - History as memory.
Assignment - Include history, contemplate it. Long slow time. Here's a poem piece in the name of history, to be with this week: "Feelings arise / we have no names for--terror / and awe, a wilderness contraction, the history of the world / in a mysterious heartbreak, / and you feel yourself saying yes / to all of it." -David Bailey, from Journeywork
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Question - How do you know when you are maintaining useful boundaries?
Meditation - The movement of water.
Assignment - Meditate on the movement of water, it doesn't concern itself with a plan. It only pledges allegiance to gravity. And yet there is no question that water is water when you see it. How can your water move, freely, holding onto nothing. This is when water is in its power! Not by trying to make it go straight or fix it in one point. Boundaries are not about rigidity; they're about agility.
LEO (July 23-August 22)
Question - How can melodrama and bigness of emotion be helpful?!
Meditation - Melodrama!
Assignment - The big full moon in Leo! Let the full moon work on you. Attend to ceremony on the day of. Do something out of the routine on this day, in a ritualized way. Or ritualize and formalize something you do daily - infuse it with the sacredness of your big, childlike divinity!
VIRGO (August 23-September 22)
Question - When do you practice dropping it?
Meditation - Drop it like it's hot.
Assignment - Make your practice just dropping it this week, under the heat of the full moon in Leo. Anything you notice your mind circling around - take kind note of its pull, its orbit, this habitual analysis and thinking. And then, like magic, drop it! Use an exclamation point in your mind when you do it! Like telling a child to move away from a hot stove! Treat your thought habit cycles like something hot to drop. (And whatever you can't drop, be kind to.)
LIBRA (September 23-October 22)
Question - When do you embrace darkness, yours and other people's?
Meditation - darkness.
Assignment - Become a host to your own darkness, in the generous way you know how to host and harmonize with others. Think of your darkness as a friend, think of the abject as your favorite beautiful friend. Regard the scariest part of yourself as worthy of love. What might this change about some of your day to day actions? How might it change your relationship with others?
SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)
Question - Under what conditions do you forget you are breathing?
Meditation - breathing as exchange of suffering and bliss.
Assignment - Use breathing to embrace the light and the dark, as two sides of life. Breathe in the suffering, breathe out ease, brightness, warmth. Let yourself be the energy worker you are, here and now, in your own life, with your own body, suffering in, transforming with the alchemy of your Scorpio wizardry, and out into warmth.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)
Question - Where is symbiosis present in your life?
Meditation - Symbiosis.
Assignment - In California, the ground squirrel is in symbiosis with the burrowing owl. The owl uses tunnels made by squirrels to nest in, and helps the squirrel keep look out for dangers. This is mutuality. You are used to being independent. Look for the relationships of symbiosis in your life, cherish them, write them down. Say thank you internally and out loud for these relationships.
CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19)
Question - When do you hold back in saying what you really want to?
Meditation - loudness!
Assignment - Choose a loud figure to worship or admire this week. Someone you know or don't know. Try on loudness where you feel moved to. Let the full moon give you access to howling. The inner one who is already old and wise, waiting for the outer you to catch up and just speak it.
AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18)
Question - When does your individual nature get neglected?
Meditation - the pull of the moon.
Assignment - You're always tapped into what is just for the group, and this is an excellent thing. But the Full Moon of Leo, opposite your sun this week, is a great opportunity to take cues from Leo (a heightened personalness / attention to identity and individualness) See what you can learn from this bigness, personality, melodrama. When does a focus on the group evolution (Aquarius) contribute to a neglect of your individual development? When Leo and Aquarius are in conversation, both happen together! These moments where Leo appears in your life are good times to reflect on your own identity.
PISCES (February 19 to March 20)
Question - How does being in less populated (by humans) spaces affect you?
Meditation - being surrounded by nonhuman life
Assignment - "What I felt when I tried to take in the skyline--and instead was taken in by it--was a fullness indistinguishable from being emptied, my personality dissolving into a personhood so abstract that every atom belonging to me as good belonged to her... discovering you are not identical with yourself even in the most disturbing and painful way still contains the glimmer, however refracted, of the world to come..." This quote by Ben Lerner embodies the beauty of porous Pisces identity, and the redemption possible in it. It can be hard being a Pisces because when your identity is very fluid, that means information about others is also very fluid - everything is porous. Find a time to surround yourself by nonhumans for a bit this week. Because the information from humans is too much sometimes! You need regeneration. You need to be aware of your intake! Schedule breaks from environments that overwhelm you. This is essential for your health.