Monday, March 27, 2017

March 2017 Aries New Moon

The Aries New Moon is the first New Moon of the astrological year. A new opportunity to set intentions into motion accompanies it. Mars, the planet of action, influences us to get our plans going ~ but Mars is influences by realistic Saturn focusing us on planning and preparation before acting.

2016 was all about endings; 2017 is all about new beginnings. It's the time to release what no longer serves our best interest. Aries brings an energy of leadership, action and new ideas. It moves us in the direction of charting new courses through new waters. What will we do? Who will we be? How will we show up? This New Moon is the one to set the intentions about what we will manifest throughout the coming year. There is no wrong path. There are no mistakes. Stay awake and aware of the guidance the Universe is providing to you.

More influences at the time of this Aries New Moon include a conjunct with Venus, which is currently in retrograde, and a trine to Black Moon Lilith. Though deeply and more directly influenced by Mars and Saturn, the New Moon is also dancing with two strong Goddess energies as well. Even with Venus in retreat, there is influence and power there. They emphasize and draw out the mythic and the spiritual for us.

New Moons in general signal the end of one 28-day cycle and the beginning of the next, making it the best time for moving forward. The best time for taking those actions and stepping into the new projects in the first two weeks as the Moon moves from New to Full. For the Aries New Moon, it's time to set our sights higher and dream bigger than we have before. Get the best possible intentions out into the Universe ~ and this New Moon will help create the action plan.

What are your dreams and wishes for the coming year? How can you upgrade your goals? What dreams are you seeking to manifest? How can you change your strategies to help your goals and dreams become reality? What new, creative energy do you want in your life? How can you best embrace possible changes?

Monday, March 20, 2017

March Equinox

Equinox ~~
[from Latin, meaning 'equal night']

1: either of the two points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic
2: either of the two times each year (as about March 21 and September 23) when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are everywhere on earth of approximately equal length.
~ Merriam-Webster online dictionary 

The wheel of the year is divided into either four or eight segments, depending on how often you want to recognize, ritualize or otherwise celebrate the changing of the seasons. Since as far back as we can figure recorded time, humans have noticed and marked the passages we call the Equinox. Stonehenge, Chichen Itza, Angkor Wat and the Sphinx are all equinoctial markers.

Besides its delineation of daylight's increasing or decreasing, the Equinox is a balance point for the Earth's axis pointing neither toward nor away from the sun. For me, it is a spiritual time as well, revealing how everything finds balance on the eternal journey through the cosmos. My reflection on this Equinox is directly informed by the notion of balance.
At this time of season's change, poised astride a sliver of time where all rests balanced, I pause. In this place of balance, I dream of the direction the coming season will take. Allowing the dreamtime its intuitive flow, I breathe in the creative energy and breathe out what no longer serves. With my dreams and discoveries in heart, I adjust my movements into the season to come.
What does the Equinox mean to you? How do you define your balance point? How does it define you? What dreams are the Equinox presenting to you? How will you open to its creative change? What form is the new season taking for you? What support will you need as you move forward?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I Will Be Myself

In high school ~ in a previous iteration of myself ~ I researched and wrote a paper on the Brontë sisters who are currently edging into popularity again, perhaps because it's more commonly known that they used masculine identities to publish their works.

My personal favorite of their books continues to be Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë intentionally wrote her character as a plain and rough-edged woman as well as strong-willed, forthright and devoted. One of Jane's statements is the quote on the image:
"I am not an angel," I asserted; "and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself."
That statement epitomizes what consistently endears the book and its heroine to me, wrapped particularly in those last four words: I will be myself. Born into a middle-class urban family with many privileges, the fact remained that I was a female in a decidedly androcentric world. Being as intelligent as any of the young men in my class and surrounded by young women with the same level of intelligence and potential, nevertheless, we females were not encouraged to express our full selves. The expectations were different; the focus askew, never quite the same.

Now, decades later, as I stride forth into retirement, I am again confronted by that sentiment: I will be myself. How has that expressed itself through me over the years?
  • Opposing the attempted anonymity of my neighbors when their prejudices frothed ugly when my not-like-them friend showed up on my doorstep.
  • Standing beside an ostracized newlywed couple whose husband chose to leave the priesthood for love of his bride.
  • Attending the NGO Forum before the 4th World Conference on Women.
  • Participating in the extraordinary ordinations of women to the priesthood.
  • Honoring the individuality and capacity for self-determination of every person.
  • Marching in the Women's March the day after the inauguration.
Looking around me as I type this at my local coffee shop, I sense the diversity of my connections within my community. Over time, I grow more and more cognizant of the occasions when I allowed others to define me, when I remained silent for fear of being caught out, when I kept my support, vision and voice subdued. I have awakened to the strength of my desire and determination to live into the words of Charlotte Brontë in the voice of Jane Eyre: I will be myself.

How has your presentation of yourself in the world changed over your life? What interferes with you being yourself? Where are you most challenged to fit in? How diverse are your connections? Where are you most comfortable in being yourself? Where are you least comfortable?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Full Moon in Virgo 2017

©2017 ML Monroe
The past month has been filled with activity both in the sky and for me. Last month's Full Moon was accompanied by a lunar eclipse ~ so there was more than enough information in the ethers and on the internet. Eclipses tend to do that ~ and there was both a lunar and a solar eclipse in a relatively short span, which adds to the buzz.

This month, the Full Moon is in Virgo ~ the Virgin, the Woman Complete Unto Herself. Virgo is an Earth sign ~ grounding, deep connections to seasonal cycles. In the Northern Hemisphere, we are on our way to the Vernal Equinox. Close enough to feel the beginnings of its blossoming within our bones. In the Southern it is Autumnal, the feel of letting go. Either way, we flow and tumble into the midst of the cycles.

Also this month, we are surrounded by the square between Pluto and Uranus triggered by expansive Jupiter and affecting the socio-political setting in which we live and move. We must step into that mix, show up with full confidence, integrity and conviction to set ourselves to the task of clearing the way to follow our dreams. It's the time for stepping up and stepping forward to acknowledge our Feminine strength and power.

There is a Rectangular Aspect Pattern called an irritated rectangle formed with the Sun opposite the Moon on one axis and Jupiter opposite Uranus on the other. This creates a gap between two possibilities and tension ensues. An irritated rectangle forms to help clear away what no longer serves. If something is irritated, it rises to the surface and can be released ~ if we pay attention and allow it to go.

This is a Moon of change. In some Pagan traditions, it is called the Storm Moon due to the reference of March going in like a lion and going out like a lamb. In some Christian traditions, it is called the Lenten Moon for its signaling the start of Lent and the changes that can be consciously undertaken during this season. Whatever you choose to call it, think about the change it is calling forth in your life.

What works for you? What in your life is broken beyond repair? What has been fulfilled and completed? How can you release it all without regret? How do you embrace your Feminine strength and power? What new or up-coming adventure are you being called to begin? How did you go into this month and how do you want to go out of it?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Women Heal

When everyone else gives up, it is women who sing the songs of warriors.

Patterns formed over the lifetime of recorded history and myth continue to show that women are the strongest, most dependable healers. Their healing may begin ~ or end ~ with the physical, yet that is not often ~ or necessarily ~ the core of their power.

From earliest childhood, we train children who get injured while playing to run to their mothers for a kiss to heal a bump or wound or sore. We know it works too. As soon as Mother's cool lips touch the tender place, the child perks up, feels better and is off and running again.

Women often have a broader and more pervasive understanding of their world and the essence or nature of healing. Their nature is to connect with the cycles of the Moon and the Earth. In so doing, they have a regular opportunity to feel the heartbeat of the Universe. They provide succor to, encourage and nurture life. The cycles also teach they about the ebb and flow of life ~ that sometimes we must let go in order for life to grow and continue. Sometimes we need to withdraw. Sometimes we need to grieve. These are all ways of healing.

We don't usually refer to or think of women as warriors, with the possible exception of particular women, yet women are warriors as well. Sometimes in the guise of a military campaign, in uniform or not, they confront the enemy directly with weapons drawn. Other times, perhaps more often, they are in the background supporting, guiding and providing their own kind of reconnaissance, being watchful without being observed. Women also sing the warriors songs of going forward in strength, fighting courageously, and returning victoriously and alive. The end goal of all these activities of women is always to find a place and space of peace.

What is your earliest memory of a woman's healing touch? How have you experienced that healing most recently? Why do you think women heal? How have women in your life proved to be warriors? How have they supported the men going off to battle? What woman in your life has sung a warrior's song?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Alternative Valentine

While leafing through poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay, I stumbled across her exquisite 1917 poem Witch-Wife:

She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.

She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun 'tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of colored beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.

She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.

Looking for an image online, I found Julian Peters' wonderful comic. How fitting both are for this Valentine time of year.

As I read through the poem, prior to finding the image, I pictured the Witch-Wife differently. The phrase But she was not made for any man left me with the question, Who was she made for? Was it another woman? Was it for her own strong self? Was it for multiple partners?

My personal definition of the title, Witch-Wife, gave me pause to lean toward the second ~ she was made for her own strong self. Being a witch means having developed powers that may range from using healing herbs to having animal familiars to understanding the movements of the stars and seasons. Or an entire host of other knowledge ranging from the commonplace to the arcane. Fairy tales are not for the faint-hearted and have woven into their telling truths about human actions and interactions. And she learned her hands in a fairy-tale.

She clearly was made for her strong self with the phrase And she never will be all mine. Although I like Julian Peters' comic image, I believe the point was not that she had many men. Rather that she belonged to herself and not to any man.

In modern language, we use the term wife to mean a female spouse. So I decided to look up the origin of the word. It comes from Old English meaning woman and some Germanic derivatives with uncertain origin. In Dutch wijf slangily means girl or babe, having softened from an earlier meaning of bitch. Although, again, there I would go with that final term being added to my definition of witch.... and end up with a knowledgeable badass woman! One incredible Valentine!!

What images struck you as you read Witch-Wife? Do you like the version depicted in the comic image? Are you a wife? By what definition? Are you a witch? How do you define that? Do you know/have a wife? How do you define her? Would she agree with your definition? Is the wife you are/know/have a Witch-Wife? How do you know?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Night of the Snow Moon 2017

Tonight's sky is busy ~ the Full Moon in Leo, a penumbral lunar eclipse, and the New Years comet (45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková) on the heels of the eclipse.

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes within the narrow path of the Earth's northern or southern penumbral edges and outside its umbra. [The umbra is inside the shadow of the Earth; penumbra is the partial Earth's shadow where the Sun's illumination is only partly cut off.] This particular eclipse is special because almost the entire face of the Moon will pass within Earth's penumbra, making the reduction in brightness more visible. It will be visible in Europe, most of Asia, Africa, most of both South and North America over the space of nearly four hours beginning at 22:34 (10:34 p.m.) UT Friday night, peaking at 00:33 UT Saturday morning.

The lunar eclipse calls us to release past and/or deep wounds and move beyond our old fears. As we do this, we can also transcend any negative patterns that emerge from or around our Shadow. Though possibly intense, the effect of this eclipse looks to be one that is shorter-lived ~ a time for quick letting go and completion. Release. Breathe. Release. Breathe. Relax.

The comet won't be visible to the naked eye ~ or even with binoculars ~ as it makes its closest fly-by since 2011. Yet its influence will still be felt. It reminds us that everything has its season and opportunity to move.

The Snow Moon is in Leo, a sign brimming with passion, courage, wisdom and presence. This Moon reminds us that we are in charge of our own destiny ~ and we need to step into that power and take responsibility for it. Full Moon in Leo brims with creativity and playfulness as well.

The sun right now is in independent, airy Aquarius, focusing us on truth and the reality of what is going on with and around us. The regal Moon in fiery Leo, challenging us to step into our own sovereignty.

Other factors are in the mix right now as well: Uranus in Eris, the Spiritual Warrior; and Chiron, the Wounded Healer, at the apex of the Finger of God (the Moon and Jupiter make the base), pointing us toward our growth and healing. They direct us toward showing up, standing up and participating in our own ~ and the community's ~ healing. They remind us that life isn't a dress rehearsal. It's real and present and live.

With the New Years comet in play at this Snow Moon, we also release what no longer serves us from 2016 and step more fully into finding the gifts and lessons of 2017. To prepare for the next event, the Solar Eclipse coming in Pisces on February 26th, step into that responsibility by following the insights we are receiving right now.

Are you on your own path ~ or connected to another's? What makes you 'roar'? What is your passion? What inspires you? How do you express your own uniqueness? What 'old business' do you have to release? What is your plan to do that? What wound is being healed within you? How does that wound point you toward your unique expression of healing?