By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Greetings Moon Lovers, Healers, Artists and Dreamers! We have arrived at our first New Moon of Winter, starting Dec. 7, 2018 including the Winter Solstice, Friday, Dec 21st and our first Full Moon of Winter on Dec 22nd. You have completed another Season of Intentions (six new and full moons), and as you reflect back over the last three moons of Autumn, what was the most important awareness that you gained about yourself? We build from that into the next lunar season.
Lunar work is based on our natural cycles, our menses cycles, our emotional rhythms, our ability to become slow and steady enough to be aware of that, in a fast paced human mind-body world. We become the movements of the moon herself, she moves each day and grows in light, then reaches a peak each month at the full, and then begins to wane back returning to where she started (with more awareness).
That is what the basis of this practice is for emotional body so our soul may heal and come out of its bondage (energetically). That is why we “dream” what we dream and dreaming has a rhythm with the lunar cycles as well, just like the seeds of a plant or tree.
We are now half way through the Season of Night (Autumn and Winter Moons) and prepare for our Winter hibernation. Not a bear? That’s ok, just try practicing a slower pace in the winter months, which is the season of rest – called winter. Many of you wish to be more in sync with the rhythms of nature, with our physical, mental and emotional bodies and their nature, which only leads to inner harmony when sought as a practice.
For the newbies, here are the monthly moon directions. AndI sent out our seasonal Marzanna effigy ritual information for those who are joining us again this year, so make sure to put her on your altar (indoor or outdoor) on the Winter Solstice (or before). If you missed it, its here.
Each moon cycle in this work-study, I let the signs, birds, animals, syncronicities and the wind all show me what each moon cycle carries within its natural spirit(ual) embodiment. What came forth as a synchronicity for this moon cycle were two stories, reflections of the wonderful clients and apprentices I have and nature herself…
A First Winter’s Moon started off with Pandora, whose name means ‘all-giving’ derived from a combination of the Greek παν (pan) ‘all’ and δωρον (doron) ‘giving’. Her other name, Anesidora means ‘she who sends up gifts’. It is the holiday season, so what would you like Pandora, as a gift, to show you about yourself? Be brave and make that your intention (sample intentions at the end).
Repetitive behaviors that we want to “become aware of” or change in our relationships have harsh effects on our well-being and with those in our lives. We can’t always be happy and because of this, struggle is not a bad word, just like maturity is always in fashion. We grow and overcome adversity because of the gifts that arrive in cycles on our doorstep, or periods of time in our life when our entrapment has become unbearable.
Wherever you are right now, today on this new moon, think back five years and compare where you’ve been, where you’ve grown and where you are still struggling. Focus there and be creative with a practice to address it. In my work and work with others – I make them do a calculated opposition (lunar mirror work).
In the old story of Pandora, Zeus gives her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills of humankind and told her not to open it (until christmas). Unfortunately he didn’t tell her what the gift was inside, so she opened it and unleashed all the chaos and evil into the world. If we take this story and and downsize it, its about the self. Because we have all the ills and evils within us in a true spiritual healing practice.
We accept the fact that if we want things in our life to change, we have to open the box and let all our chaos and challenges out in the open to actually see. Only the true Brave do “spiritual with a healing” journey, the rest do a “spiritual” journey or “knowledge spiritual” journey or “social-spiritual” journey or the most destruction to our soul, the “perception altering spiritual journey” (drugs/plants).
All the contents of healing is to purify, that is what Alchemy means, and this particular jar of yours, like Pandora, had actually belonged to Zeus, not Pandora, meaning that once we have a good perspective on our particular issue to heal – ‘we’ must change. Inner child work under 12 years old is where most of the damages were done to our emotional body because we were so young, so pure and so open and that openness taught us much. As we mature, we need to protect that part of us, which generally occurs starting around 38 years old to return to the inner child. If you prepared with other spiritual practices you can approach that with some groundedness. But always do the work anyway even if you have not.
All of this is the evil and chaos that makes us suffer within and for empaths, suffer even more (of other peoples emotional illnesses). Is it easy? No its not. What Zeus did to Pandora, requires the lessons that innocence is for children, not adults. In resolution (acceptance), we have to change and learn to letting go of our self-bondage, we turn innocence into the path of the “creative” as adults. This is because everyone of our issues have a practical application to navigate through such chaos. If we must fall into the descent of sickness, then so be it, we will come out of it. There are worse things than dying (remember its the winter moons).
If there is one thing I have learned as a wrathful dismembered shaman its that cycles do not last forever and when we get sick or have personal loss or have lost our will or energy, we find new doors and paths to help us get well, but we must recognize them. This is given to us by life as a balance to our struggles and sicknesses. That is not a solution scenario, its a living-life scenario of transformation, death and the all important rebirths. When working with lunar cycles, we structure our larger issue into 13 moons a year and work away at that issue a little bit each month through our intention.
We can easily bring justice to clear the good name of Pandora-Anesidora by becoming more observant, practicing intuitive practices which are listening deeply to others and the self to truly hear what is being said and shatter the glass that keeps us from “really” hearing. We practice trusting our first intuition, believe those who put into action what comes out of their mouth with the ordinary or those who walk spiritual teachings. The Season of Night is ruled by the Dark Goddesses, and they can the dark side of the night or the light side of the dark.
The slow descent into mental or emotional sickness, usually begins when we are overwhelmed passed the point of balance and we begin to mistrust the self completely or its a cycle of karma that removes the strength so we will go through the exprience. Not all of our winter struggles are because of our lack of judgment or personality. Don’t forget to remind yourself of that. Avoidance and denial are real emotional illnesses and if not addressed will lead to anxiety, anxiety attacks, stress of our nervous system and a host of other problems which started in our childhood.
We can receive the most wonderful wisdom in the world, but without a practice to go side by side with it, we don’t learn to let go or create emotional flow. Every decade we go through new learnings and challenges and sometimes its difficult to change or heal within these cycles. So, we stop asking permission of the self to just be ‘ok’ and throw out hope, and then we can at least flex the possibility of healing our issues by not avoiding them.
The swirling winds of winter moves counter-clockwise, while our mind-body moves clockwise in life. That confuses people and why people are asking for clockwise proof when it doesn’t exist in a clockwise reality. You trust your counter clockwise journey and ask of yourself not to “shame blame” the world or other people because that is a popular walk for everyone today. Step aside from that energy drainer (drama) and distractions and focus on the self through self-disciplines weekly, that make a difference.
Struggle and Ease live only one block away from each other, and its our choices each day, both the small and big ones, that puts into practice “letting go” at the time of the full moon each month.
ORACLE OF THE FIRST WINTER MOON:
The storm of endless chaos, coagulates in the Great Works. The alchemy arts rises in the interior laboratory: salt and sulphur are married by Mercury The fixed turns volatile, the volatile is fixed. The Magician is in prayer and every rite is an offering of her devotion, every instrument is an extension of her interior temple. The cubic altar is the material support, for the magic work is consummated on it.
The Wand of Spirit is inflexible, the word of the spiritual warrior seeking knowledge is very sharp. Joy, the balm of divine mercy, lies in the cup of life. The pact between our soul and the self (emotional body) is eternality testified by the wheel (cycles of our life) and its points, for our soul is the both nature and ruler of our inner reality.
Divination meaning (our divine soul communication with the self), is the soul eye (right eye) of our vision, not our idealism, which is brighter or more illuminated when our nature discloses the doors of the temple of emotional truth. This leads us towards our keys of emptying out. This serves the temple of immortal soul. When we anoint the self with personal truth within real actions, we tread in the desert and death of our old way, that does not serve us.
Nothing exists in life but our great work to learn to nurture our pain or suffering (self love), to take action with our values for self awareness (which leads to illumination expressed in our actions in the everyday mundane world). That is the path of divine health of our mental body, our physical body, our emotional body and our many souls who are illusive and untouchable and mostly in bondage. Spirit is the life of mother earths souls, mother nature (her animal, birds, oceanids), and our relationship to them, as she feeds us only when we feed and protect our self which protects our soul.
The second winter story is”Iphigenia” and I thought I would start this off as a focus for your winter journey over the next three moon cycles. This is the story of inner strength: The name Iphigenia means Strong-born, a woman born to strength and she who causes the birth of strong offspring. I have learned from the moon cycles of my past winter moons, that these are the true “Hearth Fire Moons” regardless of how the Slavic Pagan men or Greek Pagan men or any host of other pagan traditions had brought fire into the Summer Solstice, where it does not belong.
I looked up “Iphigenia” yesterday and see that she is conjunct my natal Moon in Pisces. That is a strong placement in astrology of the strong woman, because the “Luminaries” (sun, moon and ascendant) are the most important root of our chart. I didn’t start off strong in my 20s, but then I began to choose suffering and burning off karma as my main self healing path to plant seeds for my future and that has manifested “presently”…
Iphigenie in classical Greek mythology has two stories: The first story, her most common and widespread, is her story of the kingdom and her father, winning against her and the strong women of that time. Her second story, less known and less publicized is the Goddess Artemis, who takes care of Iphigenie, and the other women and men who are devotees (priestesses and priests) of the old ways.
I am always in favor of strong women and supporting men, and the journey we must take in life, or women who must learn to be strong and brave even if they feel they are not. Empowerment requires doing something different than your will and convictions tell you to and sit back and contemplate the basic root of our nature, our weaknesses, our blindness and our inability to listen to wisdom when given.
How do we change this part of our nature that always “thinks” it knows best? Listen. Then listen deeper. Then listen deeper and much longer until you begin to hear whats being shared in your circle of life. Then you can begin to change and change is the most difficult lessons in life.
In Greek mythology, Iphigenia is no different than us, and in her story she appears as the Greek fleets gather in Aulis to prepare for war against Troy. At Aulis, the leader of the Greeks, Agamemnon, accidentally kills a Deer in a Sacred Grove of the Goddess Artemis in which Iphigenia, is a priestess.
Artemis punishes Agamemnon by interfering with the Winds so that his fleet cannot sail to Troy. The seer Calchas reveals that, to appease Artemis, Agamemnon must sacrifice his eldest daughter, Iphigenia. Agamemnon at first refuses but, pressured by the other commanders, eventually agrees to kill his own child.
According to Hyginus’ Fabulae, Iphigenia was not sacrificed and was taken by Artemis to Tauris in the Crimea at the moment of the sacrifice, and the goddess left a Deer in her place. The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women called her Iphimede (Ἰφιμέδη) and told that Artemis transformed her into the Goddess Hecate. Who has heard of the birth of Hecate? Not many.
Antoninus Liberalis said that Iphigenia was transported to the island of Leuke, where she was wedded to the immortalized Achilles under the name Orsilochia.
New Moon Intention examples
(just chose one):
I am energetic (if your feeling drained)
I take action
I embrace humor (if your feeling sad)
I am intelligent
I have proper perspective
I am successful
I am well rested
I am happy with who i am
I accept myself
I am abundant
I am responsible
I am balanced
I am positive
I practice simplicity
I am patient
I practice healthy desire
I am strong
I am grounded
I am enthusiastic
I am capable
I listen deeply
I love my body
I embrace and heal my
I practice listening deeper
I am doing the best I can
I speak with integrity
I love myself
I am grounded
I am healthy
I am focused
I am peaceful
I accept that I am angry (or whatever
you need to accept right now)
I am nourishing myself
I am beautiful
Happy New Moon and blessings to you and your friends and family… Phoenix!
Art: Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis, Iphigenia in Tauris, Napoli, the Priestess of Artemis (100 bce), Iphigenie (1862) by Anselm Feuerbach; Rima Stains winter moon. Crochet artist Lena Gorginan. Polish Kolędnicy Carolers by A3 Theatre, Poland via Lamus Dworski’s tumblr.