February was The Moon, and it really did a number on me.
I know a lot of people fear or struggle with this card, which leads you into the darkest places of your unconscious.
Personally, I normally love it. I love darkness, depths, and the realms of mystery. This February, however, was not about underworldly darkness and a journey through Shadow. It wasn’t unlocking the dark but glorious secrets of the subconscious realm.
It was about my darkness, not in terms of dark thoughts and desires, but the ugliest things within me. Gluttony. Sloth. Impatience. Stubbornness. Grounding in habit despite clearly seeing it doesn’t serve me.
I was bullishly stuck in a cycle of nothingness. The void creaked my bones, expanded my waistline, dulled my mind, and yet I couldn’t seem to step back.
That’s a big part of The Moon in general; you’re there. You can’t just step back. The journey into her realms is not a casual step out of a door onto flat terrain; you have to bide your time and await the return passage, be it a shuttle to transport you or simply a door opening to let you walk out, one step at a time, on the condition that you not look back.
Normally, while you’re there, there is much to learn and embrace. What sucked about this Moon journey is that I didn’t feel I was learning or gaining anything; just dully watching myself fritter away days and hours and opportunities for growth and reflection.
For March I’ve moved into The Lovers and I’m ready to embrace the change.
I wasn’t feeling it today, really. My normally wet region of the U.S. is currently the driest part of the country. I’m exhausted with unquenchable dehydration.
I’ve also been anxious and obsessive, focusing on things I want to shed but can’t see a way to break away from.
But for weeks I’ve had my eye on this day, as the month is new and the moon is New and Uranus moves into my sign of Taurus and Mercury goes retrograde, as a starting point for my return and rebirth.
I can’t remember where I first read this — possibly something by Briana Saussy – but I love it: that retrogrades are a time for re. Refocusing, reorganizing, replenishing, rebirthing, and so on. Much like the New Moon.
That was all I intended. I felt too drained to ask the tarot anything. I figured a resurrection fern, candle, incense, some whisky for the Morrigan — these were more than I’d done in at least a couple weeks, and were a good start.
But I decided it was also a perfect time to take a drop each of datura stramonium and wild tobacco flower essences from Banefolk.
And then I picked up my Many Moons planner, just to see what was recommended today. I was relieved to see the suggestion to simply rest if you’re tired, and that a recommended spell for this moon is actually to be done a day or two from now.
But even just reading it gave me a bit of calm energy.
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by, among many other things, the omnipresence and abundance of spirituality lately.
I don’t feel that witchcraft is only for the select few or that there are right and wrong ways to practice or that it’s a problem to see it gaining traction in pop culture.
I think there are problems that stem from that, but that’s true when anything becomes popular. Overall I’m glad to have more resources available and glad that new or younger practitioners have fewer barriers between them and the practices that will hopefully help them.
But lately I’ve felt just too surrounded by it, and that it was all starting to look the same. Resources I used to turn to for different moods or styles started to blend into one another. Podcast hosts all seemed to be interviewing the same people, even interviewing each other, and the things that made some people or practices unique started to seem obscured.
I don’t begrudge anyone their evolution or desire to stay relevant; it’s my own response I’m commenting on, not anyone’s decisions to move their presentations more toward current trends.
I felt like the world had become too small around me, and yet that small, stifling world consisted almost entirely of people I didn’t even know. It was surreal and exhausting and I had to break away.
I had to visit The Moon.
It was with this sense of oversaturated anxiety that I set up my ritual tonight; this sense of being overwhelmed by spiritual strangers that tugged at my brain as I reached for my planner; and it was an immense relief when reading the entry brought me comfort instead of feeling suffocating.
I picked up Briana Saussy’s Sacred Book of Hours and read aloud this New Moon’s blessing.
The Blessing begins with literal prisoners, but by the end expands to prisoners in all senses. It felt soothing to bless people outside of my orbit, and grounding to remember my own prison is mine to break down whenever I’m ready.
I looked at the prompts Briana offers for the three celestial events happening this week. I also looked at Ethony’s New Moon in Pisces tarot spread.
And I decided to read.
I used Pagan Otherworlds tarot to ready Ethony’s New Moon in Pisces spread and Ethereal Visions tarot to reflect on Briana Saussy’s journaling prompts for Mercury Retrograde, Uranus in Taurus, and the New Moon.
Overall, the readings both pointed to endings, new beginnings, renewed vitality, and making an effort.
Tomorrow or Friday I might write an entry breaking down the readings card by card. I’m not sure how much anyone cares about someone else’s personal reading analysis, but it helps me to write out my thoughts, so the blog seems like a good place for it.
For now, what started with a begrudging five minute ritual blossomed into four hours of offerings, divination, reflection, and writing. I no longer feel The Moon beneath my feet or the alien atmosphere stifling my lungs.
I don’t feel fully revived, but I feel my pulse regaining. For now I’m going to unwind with an episode of 30 Rock and a glass of Ardbeg, because after all, I am still human.
And my fern, while still furled at its core, has mostly resurrected.