This is our second full moon in Sagittarius in a row... pretty rare. And it is the Strawberry Moon! This moon draws its name from our early Native Americans, signaling it is time to pick the ripened fruit. To ride the wave of this metaphor a bit... take a moment to think about what has ripened in your life? Think back 6 months ago to December 11th when the New Moon was in Sagittarius. What was happening then? What were you working towards? What was important to you then that might have blossomed into a reality now? And then think back even further, to a little over a year ago, on May 2nd, our last Full Moon in Sagittarius. How have you grown and changed over this past year? What are you now ready for? What old skin have you shed? What new energy are you now in? These retrogrades have shifted a lot for us over the last few months. And it has been a really difficult time every step of the way. It's good to take a moment and reflect back, to see how far you have come.
This Full Moon occurs at 29 degrees and is opposite Venus, the planet of all things love. It also squares Chiron (all things karma)... so guess where that leaves us? In a ripe time to be exploring relationships! This 29 degree mark is a clear indicator that things are headed in a new direction, and will lead you to unexpected places. There is a fated quality to it, so whatever is happening in your life around relationships - trust it. This is positive!
With the Summer Solstice today in the sign of Sagittarius (interestingly enough, a sign associated with the winter months) it is a great time to look ahead. Where are you pointing your arrow? In what direction will you head in during these next 6 months? Maybe it's time to change direction, or maybe things are already pointing to a road you have not traveled down before.
Right now seems to be a time of "I don't know." This mindset can be used to your advantage, but just make sure you aren't tricking yourself, or playing down your own internal wisdom. But it really does seem to be a time to be in a state of curiosity, to really be looking, paying attention, discovering in each moment. Thing are shifting for us all right now. Big life changes, and if you have been open during the time of these difficult retrogrades then things are blooming for you in the most amazing ways!
There are still three planets retrograding with Neptune (a very slow moving planet, be aware how it might try to slow you down) entering the mix on the 13th. Luckily Mars goes direct on the 29th. Until then there is still some work to be done. I did notice this last week how the planets are still pulling stuff up from the past to be cleared. A lot of stuff being cleared around sex and our karma with sexual energy. Pay attention to your dreams and don't be surprised if things are surfacing there. You can read your dreams right now as a map to what you are clearing in yourself and what you are facing. These retrogrades have been hard, but ultimately they are evolving us, and getting us ready for the next 5 years.
Spend some time connecting this month. Connect to yourself, to nature, to others, to how you can be of greater service, to your gifts, to your guides... Connecting is really important right now. It's a time to create a bigger life for yourself, one that matches the size of your soul. Create a life for yourself where there is joy, and a sense of belonging, where you feel purposeful and fulfilled. These are all great things to make wishes about this month. Use the energy of the moon and of Gemini to call in this way of living, this way of being in the world. For more info on how to make your wishes, see here.
Please join me for a very special NEW MOON MINERAL Breathwork Meditation.
This is part of a series of Mineral Meditations. This month we will focus on KYANITE. You will get a mineral of your own to work with and take home with you. During the circle we will talk about it's properties, how to clean and care for it, you will learn to work with it's energy while setting some New Moon wishes, and you will get the opportunity to experience its healing qualities during meditation.
Saturday, June 4th 10:00 - 12:00 am Venice, CA $60 Space is limited / to reserve your space please RSVP to me. firstname.lastname@example.org The location will be emailed to you when you RSVP.
Breath is what connects us to each other, to every thing, to all times. The Breathwork Meditation is a two part active, rhythmic breath that is very healing. Though the breath is simple to learn it is quite powerful and profound to experience as it clears emotional blocks and stuck energy. It opens you up allowing you to connect to the deep current of energy that runs throughout your body. By quieting the mind you create space to listen with your heart, leaving you feeling peaceful, grounded, and expansive. You learn to become a healer for yourself with the breath as your tool.
These retrogrades have been no joke. These last few weeks have just been so difficult. I don't know one person who isn't feelin' it - feeling stressed, angry, overworked, overwhelmed, hopeless, frustrated, ungrounded, making mistakes, confused, etc... Guess what? It's not really you, it's the retrogrades. I mean... it's YOU. But what these retrogrades are doing is putting pressure on places inside us which are causing things to erupt and surface. It's a good thing to feel them, look at them, they might be things we need to revisit from the past, clear them, and so on, but it's not easy or comfortable.
In February Mars went into it's own sign, Scorpio, where Jupiter has been transiting. Mars is the planet of willfulness and vitality, power and adventure. It's impatient and wants to get things done and wants them to happen now! And Jupiter is all about being cautious, slow, and methodical. Well, guess how that leaves us feeling? Frustrated!! With Saturn also retrograding we might find projects starting and stopping, no flow happening. We are finding ourselves being more angry and annoyed and passive aggressive.
To get the benefit of this energy we can't be unconsciously reacting. We have to catch ourselves when we go to a quick habitual reaction: being angry, yelling back, responding from our egos without thinking about what we are saying. These reactions get in the way of what is really going on, what we really need to be looking at: what is coming to the surface. There are many ways to grow and move forward in this energy. I will also say that with the nature of retrogrades - ie planets appearing to be moving backwards - I think there are two groups of people right now. The ones that think they are growing and moving forward unscathed, but who are actually regressing. And the ones who feel like they are moving backwards, stuck in an old place, but who are actually moving forward and growing.
Practice patients, stopping and slowing down, taking a deep breath, not reacting, avoiding arguments, thinking things through.
With the Sun in the sign of Gemini and the Moon in Sagittarius we are in the realm of the mental, signs that are about knowledge, learning and communication (which will get easier with Mercury going direct on the 22nd). Gemini seeks information; Sagittarius seeks truth and meaning. It's a great time to be breaking through to something new. The retrogrades are pulling up lots of old stuff, lessons unearned, energy that needs to be cleared... and once it is where do you want to be headed? Use the energy of Gemini and Sagittarius to understand what's coming up for you, to find meaning in it. This isn't a time of just reacting unconsciously or "rising above it" to get through it. There is truth in what's happening that can help you grow.
Don't forget to put out your crystals, minerals and even your jewelry with stones in it, to be cleared by the light of the full moon. I like to leave mine out in the sunshine the following day to balance the male and female energies.
Blown glass vase from the Met. 2nd-3rd century AD, Roman
- a clock being built that will chime every 10,000 years (thanks Meredith)
- if you are in the art world and cringe at some of the press releases that you set your eyes on you will love this... hilarious (thanks Ann)
- another great interview with Patti Smith - "I was part of a truly new generation, where everything had to be redefined: God, sex, everything."
- Silent Sound Live - Inspired in part by Victorian entertainers Ira and William Davenport, who were famed for attempting to contact the the dead using their ‘spirit cabinet’, the live performance of Silent Sound features the artists seated within a soundproof cabinet, designed to echo the Davenport’s spirit cabinet. Together they repeat a spoken phrase, with their voices being fed into their Silent Sound machine where it is embedded silently into the live musical recital. The work features an original score created by J. Spaceman from the band Spiritualized. - so excited for this film - Albert Serra's La mort de Louis XIV, starring French New Wave mascot Jean-Pierre Léaud as the Sun King Wiener Werkstatte // Francesca Minini // still from the lovers on the bridge
Taurus is showing up just when we need it. I am sure you all have felt challenged in the past few weeks... it's all of those planets in retrograde that I mentioned in the last post. Retrograde times are no joke. And we now have FIVE planets retrograding. Some will go direct during the month of May, others we will have to wait longer. Here's the list so you will know when you can breathe again:
Jupiter until May 9 Mercury until May 22 Mars until June 29 Saturn until August 13 Pluto until September 26
Retrograde times are tough, but they are also valuable. They help us restructure and create a new relationship to our outer world that mirrors our inner self. So they are times when old beliefs, ideas or patterns will fall away, often by being triggered to come to the surface first. You are not alone if you have felt very reactive lately (thanks to Mars), agitated, gotten in a fight, encountered passive aggressiveness, etc... I can almost guarantee that anything that is being triggered and coming up is coming up to be cleared. Pay attention to everything in your life right now, this is a time of transition and clarity is available to us all if we are willing to look, and you might not have to look that hard. What are you ready to let go of to move forward? It's time to recreate yourself.
The energy of Taurus can help us navigate this time. Taurus is good at teaching us about abundance, self worth, helping us to see what we value. Really think about your worth: what makes you worthy? Also, what do you truly value? Taurus helps us learn to be more on the physical plane and enjoy the physicality of our bodies and the joy of being human. It's a time to pay particular attention to the senses, and pleasure, and joy! Cooking dinner for someone you love, walking barefoot on the grass, standing out in the rain, giving someone a longer hug... all of these things are not only in alignment with the gifts of Taurus, but they will also help us survive the retrograde times.
Be in JOY!
And... don't forget to make your New Moon wishes tonight. It's a good time to use that Taurus energy, wish for anything that involves pleasure, allowing more joy in your life, having more abundance, more sense of self-worth, being more clear about what your priorities are, etc... You can read more about how to make your wishes here.
Please join me for a very special NEW MOON MINERAL Breathwork Meditation.
This is the first in a series of Mineral Meditations. This month we will focus on DANBURITE. You will get a mineral of your own to work with and take home with you. During the circle we will talk about it's properties, how to clean and care for it, you will learn to work with it's energy while setting some New Moon wishes, and you will get the opportunity to experience its healing qualities during our meditation.
Saturday, MAY 7th
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Space is limited / to reserve your space please RSVP to me.
The location will be emailed to you when you RSVP.
laurenspencerking @ gmail . com
Breath is what connects us to each other, to every thing, to all times. This is a two part active Breathwork meditation that is very healing. Though the breath is simple to learn, it is quite powerful and profound to experience. Clear emotional blocks and stuck energy allowing you to open up and connect to the universe, dive deeper into the self, and tap into your truth and intuition. Through quieting the mind you create space to listen with your heart. Leaving you feeling peaceful, grounded, and expansive.
Ahh... it's like putting on my favorite cozy sweater. We have arrived at our Full Moon in Scorpio. I am a Scorpio, and having 5 planets in Scorpio I feel very at home in its energy. I think Scorpio energy can feel really good or really challenging depending on what sign you are, for some signs it's really tough. It's a very intense sign and it's energy wants to take you into the deepest darkest crevasses of your being, of your soul. It doesn't shy away from the other half of life, the parts that are heavy, and icky, and not pretty, and dark, and shadowy. It wants to face these parts of the self and of life because there is just as much truth to be found in them as there is in the others, and its energy isn't afraid of what might be found in these places. Scorpios are above all else dedicated to the truth in things, they want the truth, even if it's painful. And right now with the Sun in Taurus I feel there is an opportunity to see the beauty in these things, these parts of ourselves. How do we look at the ugliest of truths, the shadowiest of desires, the most destructive parts of ourselves and still hold them as something beautiful? Beautiful because they are a part of us, just as much as all the things we try to show to most of the world, and highlight, and live from every day. I think there is this idea out there about living in our "highest truth", or our "brightest self", or with grace... or whatever New Spiritual word you want to use. I always find that inauthentic. It totally denies half of who we are. What is it like to live holding both parts as equally true? Equally you.
Full Moons have a lot of pull on us emotionally, so I am sure things that you thought you were over with are surfacing. The Moon pulling out those last bits that have been hidden in you. Ride those waves and let it flow. I feel during these next few days it's important to enjoy those parts of ourselves. To allow the energy of the Sun in Taurus to help us ground into those parts of ourselves, not to let them overtake us, but just allow them some space to be seen and explored, and maybe even released. And we can hope for transformation during this time, Scorpios are the master transformer. See how much you can enjoy this time. See how much beauty you can find in it, and if not beauty than at least acceptance, or the willingness to just be brave enough to look at those parts of yourself.
Try standing outside tonight in the light of the Full Moon, letting its light shine down on you, illuminating all parts of you, the dark and the light and everything in between. Feeling seen. And feeling the beauty in you because you are made up of both.
And don't forget, right now we have FIVE planets in retrograde: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and Mercury. Retrograde times are really tough - especially if you are resistant to change. Retrograde times are really about interruption. The purpose is to: interrupt, stop, and change the motion of life, living in a brief period of chaos. This interruption causes a lot of things to come up, "go wrong", crumble, change, etc... but it is really an opportunity for the old to break away so that you can realign your body and life to the NOW. The way to do this is to not go up (to spirit or the mind) and transcend the difficulty by being above it, but to surrender to what is happening and go down into the body, the body knows how to transform and flow with the energy that is coming into your life.
Keep thinking of every challenge that comes your way as an opportunity.
There is a print that hung in my mother’s bathroom. Within the frame are three women working in a field. They are bent over at the waist at such an angle that you can’t see their faces. Their labor looks hard and tireless, but also necessary. They have layers of blouses, skirts and dresses all in muted colors and the soft brown tones of the earth upon which they are silhouetted against. Each with their head covered and their hair tucked into bonnets, their aprons tied around their waists and then tied again to form a pouch in which they hold the scraps of wheat they are collecting. All three women hold small handfuls of leftover mismatched stalks.
This print is a replica of a painting entitled The Gleaners by the french artist Jean-François Millet. The original was painted in 1857 on the heels of the French Revolution. It was not well received when it showed for the first time in the salon. It made the upper-class uneasy about their already unsteady position in relation to the uprising of the working-class. But, Millet was committed to painting things as they were, nothing was idealized. His aim was to reveal the truth about living, what it was to be human, to reveal that struggle. No pastoral scenes of leisurely picnics or elaborately dressed women having a fête in the garden. All of the innocence and frivolity of the Rococo period died with the royal family. His paintings were about representing the hardships of the everyday. They depicted the work of farmers and bread makers, of a husband and wife praying over the fresh grave of their child. His paintings were of people trying to survive the circumstances of their life, of unforeseen losses and defining hardships that became their namesake. Millet himself grew up in poverty and on a farm; if anything he was just painting what he knew, and telling the story of where he came from.
The Gleaners now hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. I saw this painting with my mother when I was living there. She was visiting for the holidays and we spent the day at the museum. I remember seeing it across the room, the humble subject matter hanging in its heavy gilded frame. I called her over as I walked towards it, with a feeling in me like we were going to visit a family heirloom, something that belonged to us. In its presence I felt a feeling of familiarity, not just because I recognized it from years of looking at the print, and seeing slides of it in art history classes. But also because since I was little I was told that we were related to the painter, who shared his last name with my grandmother. Her maiden name was Millet and she was a painter herself. In the story of this occupational and genealogical connection my mother always did the telling convincingly, but would sometimes hint at a tiny bit of doubt, on whose account I do not know. “I mean, I don’t know, it’s just what nana always said…,” she would sometimes add on at the end. It always made me wonder if this was something that really was true or if this was just a family fiction, something my grandmother had only wanted to be true, and used her greatest skill to create a fantasy for herself, constructing her ideal identity.
My grandmother died when I was just reaching my early adolescence, so it was never something that I could confirm with her. And this was a story my mother only told me, never my brother, or anyone else in the family. Now that she has also died it falls on me to decide if I want to make this story a fact, and to choose how I want to do the telling to others. And to my future children, who could carry on the bloodline of this story or not. To call it a story seems right, as stories can be both truth or fiction. But what do we call something that has elements of both? Perhaps those are what we call memories.
I came across this print recently while packing up boxes. I stared at it trying to decide if it was something I wanted to keep. This is the process I have to go through with every single item in my mother’s home, which is the house I grew up in. The importance of objects takes on a whole new definition when someone dies. In one moment they are just things, and in the next they become imbedded with new meaning. My mother’s nightgown, her sheets, her eye glasses strewn all over the house, stacks of check books with just a few checks missing in each, a drawer full of important documents and old passports, her makeup brushes, a basement full of old christmas decorations and many suitcases that were used only once… these are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of things that are left of her. These objects take on the role I need them to play in my grieving. At times they become a stand in for her. In others they become clues to piece together more of who she was. And at their worst they are merely empty shells and burdens. A house full of objects is what I have left of her.
The work of gleaning was traditionally done by women. The task fell upon the women to comb through what was left from the harvest. It’s how the poor learned to live with so little. It’s the gleaners’ job to pick up the scraps of what has been left behind, it’s how they fed their families. They spent long, arduous hours every day searching carefully through the fields for the forgotten, the lost, and the discarded, trying to piece together something that could in no way fill the void, but what was only a substitute. It’s what they did to survive.
Feel the fire under your feet! You might already feel it in your whole body! There is a lot of fire energy in the air right now with this Supermoon in Aries. This New Moon will be our strongest of the year because it is a Supermoon. A Supermoon means that the moon in its orbit is closest to the earth, and this morning it aligns with the New Moon. It's also known as a perigee New Moon, though over the years the term Supermoon has been adopted, even by scientists.
So, let's talk about fire energy. Aries is ruled by fire, it is the sign all about willfulness and independence, taking a stand, fighting for the truth... it is warrior energy. The energy of Aries combined with it's ruler of fire can be very powerful and strong. Fire energy is all about truth. It can be very powerful if directed and embodied in a healthy way. Misdirected fire is the kind of fire energy that causes people to be successful and powerful but by being destructive or hurtful to others, it's the person who is sexual but without allowing the fire to move through the heart, it's the anger that bursts through you and makes you feel disempowered or disempowers others, and it's also the energy that makes you feel productive but that leaves you feeling burnt out and tired. True fire energy is sustained energy, it doesn't burn you out, it actually gives you more energy. True fire energy burns everything away allowing you to see the truth. You know you are in your fire when you can see the truth in something/someone (sometimes it's about holding multiple truths) and you don't allow yourself to be disempowered. Recently I have been seeing that there are so many ways we disempower ourselves, and allow others to disempower us. Think about that these next two weeks. Watch for ways that you cut yourself off from your fire, and ways that you allow others to do the same to you.
With this fire energy and 5 planets in retrograde happening we are also in a time of really having our eyes open to the truth. And if you aren't willing to have them open, they could be forced open, there is no escaping it. I think retrogrades are a great time to realign. They are often very uncomfortable, but only because old things are crumbling so that we can rebuild the self in alignment with the NOW. So, be willing to look at what is coming into your life to help the old to fall away to reveal something more true. This time is only as uncomfortable as you make it, resistance is just met with greater resistance.
Also, be aware of your anger this month. I am fully in favor of allowing yourself to be angry. But with all this fire and all the retrogrades, a lot of anger could surface, and it could feel overwhelming. Just be aware of when the anger is about the past and when it is about the present (sometimes it can be about both). Also be aware of how you are expressing it and who you are directing it at. And, to the point previously made about healthy fire, notice how it makes you feel. Do you feel empowered by your anger, disempowered, tired afterwards, does it make you want to check out, stuff it down, do you disempower yourself by not expressing...? All questions to be asking yourself as you study your relationship to fire this month.
Keep your eyes open for signs. With all these shifts and all of this restructuring going on don't be afraid to ask for signs to help you know you are on the right track. I do this all the time; When things are getting hard and I am risking a lot, taking leaps of faith, or perhaps having my faith tested... I ask for a sign. And I always get one. Just keep your eyes open, and allow yourself to be open. It might not come in the form you think it will.
This is a powerful New Moon for wishing because it is a Supermoon. Make some time today or tomorrow to sit down and write some wishes. You can read more about how to do this here. Light a candle while you do this.
Deep healing. Old wounds ripened. Sad truths. Eternal heart connections. New beginnings. New blooms. Days of equal dark and night. A calling for balance. Shifting into action and creation. Lots of things in the air right now, with this Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse, and the Spring Equinox a few days ago. I wish I had time to write a full post on what's going on right now, but I don't. I am working on a show and need every minute I can get. But, I will just say... Let the Moon be your guide right now. In it's fullness and with it's bright intensive light, it will shine on and illuminate what you need to see. Be brave enough to see it, and courageous enough to act on it.
And... I will leave you with this poem.
Sadness of the Moon-Goddess
To-night the Moon dreams with increased weariness,
Like a beauty stretched forth on a downy heap
Of rugs, while her languorous fingers caress
The contour of her breasts, before falling to sleep.
On the satin back of the avalanche soft,
She falls into lingering swoons, as she dies,
While she lifteth her eyes to white visions aloft,
Which like efflorescence float up to the skies.
When at times, in her languor, down on to this sphere,
What is your soul surfacing for you? What is it showing to you? What is it attracting and creating as an opportunity to do some deep healing? What is happening around you that is guiding you? What needs to be seen? What needs to be shared? What belief are you ready to stop believing? What wound can transform into a gift? What pain can be a source of strength? What wisdom does your body hold? What can you see that others can't? What are you ready for?
It's a time of listening to your soul. Not your mind. Not your ego. To not go to spirit. It's about the soul, and it's wisdom. It is attracting everything you need to see, every opportunity to learn and transform. Because Pisces is so activated with this moon your intuition is stronger than ever and you have a responsibility to yourself to listen to it and allow yourself to be guided by it. This is no time to resist. But make sure you are not listening to a voice that is not you, but only an aspect of you, not the truth of who you are. That is the trick. Be aware of everything right now. Listen with an especially open ear, open your eyes to different ways you are able to see. Even if you don't understand, don't be afraid to trust what is coming to you. That is really the place you want to be, in the space of not knowing, but trusting your intuition, trusting your soul. Everything around you is poitning you in the right direction. You just have to be brave enough to listen, and leap!
Don't forget to make your New Moon wishes. More info here.
Agnes Martin Gabriel 1976, Film still, 16mm, 2 reels, Answer Print, Negative printing rolls, 78 minutes.
This is a time of breaking down and breaking through. With this very intense Full Moon and other planetary alignments there are lots of old structures that are being broken down right now, radical changes, upsets, things being unearthed, even strange weather patterns. The winds are shifting and we must learn to flow with them.
The word breakdown can have a negative connotation to it. But it really is just a way to reveal something that is underneath, more true perhaps, or something that is ready to emerge. Think about a stone sculptor who starts with a block of marble and slowly chips and chisels away revealing and creating something amazing and new. You can think of yourself as this block of marble, things crumbling and falling away to reveal something more true, more you. Some things might fall away with ease, some will be more painful. This process of unearthing will both reveal things of beauty as well as difficult things. But in my eyes both are the same. Even the dark shadowy things, the fears and the ego, and the pain... when you reveal those things and have the courage to look at them and face them, you give yourself the opportunity to reveal something more true.
With the Sun in the opposing sign of Pisces you are extra sensitive right now and your intuition is very strong. So, use it. Allow it to be your guide. Let it help you know where and when to let go, know what needs to be broken off, or brought to the surface to the light. With your intuition and sense of seeing in the dark you can discern what needs to be transformed. And with everything going on in the sky it won't be hard to see. It may just be a different kind of "seeing" than you are used to. The places where there is fear, shadow, unhealthy behavior, things that are hidden or secretive... it will be easy to point to. So, point to it! Bring it up. Be unafraid. In the naming of it you are already transforming it.