First Full Moon of Winter 2017

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Our first full moon of Winter begins Monday, January 1, 2018 @ 11 degrees Cancer, 6:24 pm (pst). Its time to set our one “release” intention of what no longer serves our highest good, based on your new moon’s intention two weeks ago and what surfaced! Those who are learning and practicing this moon’s soul cycles soon learn that the winter moons are a deeper practice of quiet, peace, silencing the mind’s chatter and the yearning for nature’s stillness to witness our family and ancestral issues.

Regardless of where we are at in our celebrations and choices in the three stages of life (youth, adult or elder), these all come with changes, new choices, doors opening and closing, new experiences and commitments to resolve, improve or let go. Winter allows us opportunities to deepen our letting go practices around the full moon, so be mindful.

T0his 0full moon is in the sign of Cancer (in the Capricorn moon cycle), can flush up the emotional sides of our root family issues. It doesn’t mean we are in a family crisis per say, it means memories and old issues may surface. The snow queen, the ancient grandmothers and the night goddesses all come forth in the winter season and when she comes, its time to do our family and emotional work.

We all play a roll in our family or soul family struggles around the holidays, that is why the holidays can sometimes be stressful. What part of your family issue truly needs a final resolve or forgiveness or more love and attention? Can you convince yourself to be brave enough to face this and work on it before it becomes too unbearable to face in future situations?

Cancer is a very personal watery moon, Scorpio is an interpersonal moon and Pisces a more collective and non personal moon. There are many folk traditions associated with water as female spirits, especially rivers, often associated with both fertile lands and dangerous spots. It is said that sometimes the goddess of the river appears as a white horse and is a symbol for the divine waters or consciousness of the earth. The ancient aquatic cults, River Cults and Water Cults were present long before any countries had names, borders or kings.

The ‘Living Rain’ or ‘Rain-Striker’ is associated with the cycles of the moon, in association with weather shamanism, and through the lineages of the female shamans line, millenniums before any shamanic plants were ever used – these legends existed and still do for some. The living rains refers to the relationship between the mystical women, the dreamer and the river, and has to do with our elemental souls (water, wind, fire, rain, storms etc).

These water spirits and celestial and element souls of ours are only legends now, like some of the weather spirits of the Slavic tradition. Water Moons are very archaic and do associate our soul with our ancestors who lived such lives and still do with the element and celestial reality. Today, its not really believed as real, but believed as a soul understanding, but in some like myself I not only believe but experience. So I take these watery moons very seriously when they happen each seasonal year, which is an ability to reconnect to our own ancient ancestors traditions, regardless of who we are. We dream more in winter and we dream deeper in the winter’s watery moon.

first full moon of winter.jpg

This full moon story is a Tale of Two Deer, one a creation and the other a destruction, and the place we can find ourselves in-between the two. One of my apprentices shared a beautiful black deer illustration and it struck me as a powerful image: The Listening Trees by Catherine Hyde. I looked up black deer because I have never personally experience one and the first photo-story made a powerful impression (posted below).

Deer represents both nourishment and sacrifice and when we make sacrifices, it can nourish us in ways we do not expect, even if the sacrifice is painful. Much like the mother energy of unconditional love, where its our responsibility and our deep need to nourish that sometimes surfaces naturally when we least expect it. We learn and practice letting go in order to release our old patterns of stress, apathy, burden or struggle which can become self inflicting long after original woundings in the family have taken place. Learning to bridge self nourishing to our destructive or disrespectful or non-attentive  behaviors can sooth even the most wild of us.

Because life imitates art and art imitates life, I felt the dualistic symbolism of the deer (nourishment & sacrifice) with the energy of the sign of Cancer (nurturing) on this winter’s full moon combines are two strong symbols at this time of the year.  The planets Pluto, Venus, Saturn and Sun are all in Capricorn opposite the Cancer Moon and we can ignore our moon feelings with such powerful planets in opposition, but let your feelings be known anyway. The moon is like the rare black deer and the ignoring an issue it is like the young huntress.

Because we are all born into
Mindlessness (of the mental body)

and are Unconscious (in the soul body)
at birth; 
Our spiritual path inevitably
awakens us to some degree and reveals
challenges to become Conscious while
our growing Consciousness (of our soul),
reveals our karma and our instinctual
fight or flight (letting go or facing fear).

The mindless or unconscious path says: “here in front of me is an extremely rare black deer and it is mine for the taking” and the other image expresses a state of conscious which says: “black deer are so very rare and should be both honored and protected”. 

The Listening Trees by Catherine Hyde


The deer appeared before the young lady above with the gun and gave her a spiritual choice. But being inexperienced in life and young, she made a choice of mind over rarity. Rare is what happens when the mystery is before you and you recognize it or you are blind to its appearance. The deer understand this as it stands before you, waiting for you to see it. So too with our soul.

Spiritual people sometimes face no choice but to learn to walk the balanced or middle path, especially when we suffer, especially when the party’s over. While others just look away when they recognize truth, they do not wish to be challenged by consciousness and its reality. I always encourage others to embrace the uncomfortable parts of life with strict practices and disciplines. We do this so we can truly reconnect to our authentic emotion in order to allow it to bring forth wounds but also to flow and when we flow emotionally, we feel great. 

Russian vintage postcard, 1977, artist A. IsakovChallenging our wheel of life in order to see or become more mindful, or to make us feel – all effects our relationships and our relationship to the self. If we do not challenge the self, then life will sends the challenges of crisis our way. We don’t usually want to consciously change, because its foreboding and fearful. Yet at the same time its that feeling that something bad will happen if we open Pandora’s box (full family emotional issues like betrayal, or abandonment or abuse) and yes it does open a lot of intense feelings and struggle.

The truth is, her box is already open if we are experiencing great challenges in our life and the medicine of facing our fears and emotional fears, allows the rebirth once we begin to let go of control. What do you need to let go of today, something small and simple that allows more flexibility?

If one feels no fear in our spiritual path, then we are on the knowledge path and these of course are great places to start in life, in our twenties or thirties. But we were never meant to stay or live there after forty, because the soul begins to call from afar on the other side of that spiritual mountain you were climbing.  If we are not listening then our health, our relationships, our practices of purity become more challenging and start to falter. 

Winter’s letting go is the great practice we can develop this lifetime to ease our karma. These of course take years of practice because its not our light that we need to focus on, its our shadow (suffering, our denial, our addictions etc) in order to heal, dissolve, and resolve its power over us.

Happy Full Moon and Blessings in this Season of the Winter Solstice !

Full Moon Chart for New Years Day
Sources: River Cult (amended) 

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