Do you ever have that part of your creative process where you’re just about ready to jump out of your skin unless you make yourself sit down and create something?
I have been feeling this angst, this low-boil under my skin that can only be satisfied through structure and discipline, through sitting down and working for hours with my hands on my craft.
It’s an interesting balance within the creative process, structure and flow…
For in some ways, my creative process is about being able to surrender to the timeless space and walk on the beach for hours, watching the myriad of lights on the ever changing tides, admiring the sun and then the moon…moving slowly as if I have all of eternity, and as if all of eternity is right here. My creative process is in mossy wanders through the forest, where the floor is covered leaves and bright orange salamanders, and where underneath the dark-green pointed leaves of wintergreen there are berries for the tasting. I love looking at Partridge Berry and Wintergreen and deciphering which one has the pig nose, which one will give me that crisp minty flavor and which will be mild mush with a few hard seeds. Both lovely. Both connecting me to place. For it’s these moments that I live for, the ones where I am simply human, and nothing matters beyond my meander by the woods or the sea.
And yet - the urge to create. The urge that comes from many days of wander and timeless bliss, where a voice inside me shouts, “It’s time to DO SOMETHING”, “You need to MAKE SOMETHING WITH YOUR TIME”, “Look at all this time that is going by that you could have been creating beautiful things, and feeling accomplished about them!”. The melancholy that comes from days without creation where I wash the laundry but only fold it halfway. I see the discomfort in my environment around me - I stop completing tasks fully: there’s a sweater hanging over the chair, the dishes are in the sink, the laundry is in-between the wash and the dresser - and I realize that if I don’t sit down and make something, the days of blissful wander are no longer. Instead they are being encroached upon by spirits of inertia, lethargy, and lostness. I have to rescue myself through discipline. I just need to begin. And once I begin, once I start that first project, I begin to regulate. I realize the longing I had for my craft, the lostness I felt in being apart, and how much I need a creative outlet to feel that I have a place in this world. That I have something to show for my being here.
Today I begin again. I am ready to sit down with my hands and create. And I can only hope that the beauty I received from the sun and the sky and the waves on the horizon can be honored in the images that flow through my hands. That people may look at my creations with wonder and awe, and that there be a spark of magic in the exchange.
You may notice that on the top page of the Lunar Mandala Calendar there are little symbols next to the date every 2-3 days or so. These symbols represent the signs of the zodiac that the moon is moving through.
Traditionally the signs of the zodiac, or Zoidion, were regarded as the homes of the planets. Each planet has a sign or two that is its home. Different planets are also said to have dignity in the houses of other planets, for instance, Mars is exalted in Saturn's home of Capricorn and the Moon is exalted in Venus' sign of Taurus.
When reading a natal chart, looking at what dignity a planet has can give information as to how much strength a planet has to be themselves within the context of a person's life.
The moon is the fastest and swiftest moving planet in the sky. She moves from sign to sign about every 2.5 days. Tracking her movement through the signs, as well as the aspects she makes with other planets, can provide a qualitative picture of what type of energy to expect day-to-day.
Below you will find a diagram of the zodiacal symbols and the signs they represent. If you don't already have the symbols memorized, take a few minutes to write your own key. The practice of writing the symbols down will help you memorize what they signify!
Aries: Masculine, Fire. Home of Mars. Moveable/Cardinal
Taurus: Feminine, Earth. Home of Venus. Solid/Fixed
Gemini: Masculine, Air. Home of Mercury. Double-bodied/Mutable
Cancer: Feminine, Water. Home of the Moon. Moveable/Cardinal
Leo: Masculine, Fire. Home of the Sun. Solid/Fixed
Virgo: Feminine, Earth. Home of Mercury. Double-bodied/Mutable
Libra: Masculine, Air. Home of Libra. Moveable/Cardinal
Scorpio: Feminine, Water. Home of Mars. Solid/Fixed
Sagittarius: Masculine, Fire. Home of Jupiter. Double-bodied/Mutable
Capricorn: Feminine, Earth. Home of Saturn. Moveable/Cardinal
Aquarius: Masculine, Air. Home of Saturn. Solid/Fixed
Pisces: Feminine, Water. Home of Jupiter. Double-bodied/Mutable
Here's a super simple tutorial on how to read a Lunar Calendar. It may be easier than you think!
If you have any questions, be sure to post them in the comments below! I am happy to guide you in reading your calendar.
People are always asking me about the symbolism of the lunar cycles and what the rational is behind setting intentions on the new moon. Here is a super short and simple explanation of these two things. Of course there is more depth to the topic, but I wanted to offer a basic overview. Hope you enjoy!
One last piece I forgot to mention in the video is that it's the really simple things we do everyday that can have profound impact on our lives. It is AMAZING how simple things like drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and getting to bed on time can do for a person's sense of vibrancy, self-worth, grounded-ness, and well-being! If we take the time do intend to do one thing that nourishes us for one cycle, and then another, and another, these little cycles of self-kindness can bring deep nourishment in the long run.
I've been asked to make some short videos describing some of the ways that I incorporate the Lunar Mandala Calendar into my daily life. Here is the first in a series.
There are many ways to work with the moon's cycle in your life.
One of my favorite ways of working with my Lunar Mandala Calendar is in charting my menstruation. I take notes of the quality of my flow from month to month so that I can best support my body to come into better balance.
Here's a short video describing some of my personal practice.
Do you chart your cycle with the moon?
Have you noticed a difference since you've started doing this?
How do you like to tend to your menstrual health and wellness?
I'd love to hear your stories! Leave a comment in the box below.
Here's an audio blog sharing a couple stories of my experience flying recently. I flew on Venus' day (Friday) and Mars' day (Tuesday). I hope you enjoy listening and that these stories help illustrate the archetypes.
A few things to note:
-I am not suggesting the planets to have caused any occurrences nor am I suggesting that I had these experiences because it was Venus' day or because it was Mars' day.
-Every day is different and flying on Venus' day this week will be different than flying on Venus' day next week. I am not implying that there is anything measurable or quantifiable about the planets influences on particular days of the week, but rather there may be a qualitative similarity between like days of the week.
-There are many interacting factors going on in the sky all the time. The planetary rulers of the week are but one of many omens of what you may expect to see in your days.
A common question people ask me when viewing the Lunar Mandala Calendar for the first time is: What do 'New Moon Seeds' and 'Fruits of the Cycle' mean?
Simply put, these places are here for you to set intentions with the new moon and then to reflect on what happened, to give thanks for the blessings that graced your life.
So, what is an intention?
An intention is anything you can see, anything you can put your sight on, matched with the motivation to move towards that sight. It's something you'd like to see in your life. A goal, perhaps. A longing with directed focus as to how to actualize that longing.
And why set intentions with the moon?
The moon is the swiftest moving planet in the sky, zipping through each zoidion every two and a half days. Each month she grows from darkness into light and back again, her cycle averaging about 28 days. She is related to all things impermanent and passing - our emotions, physical states, thoughts, surges of creativity, our sensual expression - all things that we have in the moment and then are gone. The lunar cycle is a mini cycle of the seasons of the year. It begins in darkness (new moon/winter solstice), grows to half light (first quarter/spring equinox), then to complete brightness (full moon/summer solstice), half light (third quarter/fall equinox), and returns to darkness once more. In 28 days she completes a full cycle from birth to death.
If we set intentions with the moon, we are aligning with this natural creation cycle each month. We are planting our visions in the dark and allowing them to grow and fade away as the moon reveals and conceals herself in the sky.
I choose to set intentions with the moon in order to align my life with the moon's cycle. She reminds me that there is a time to expand and a time to contract, a time to be outward and a time to be inward, and that there is a wisdom in aligning our ebb and flow with hers.
Setting intentions on the new moon can be an introspective opportunity for asking yourself, how can I more deeply honor my humanity in this coming cycle?
In the spirit of the moon, the ever-changing one, when I set intentions with the lunar cycle I vision around the questions:
What would I like to see more of in my life?
What needs to come into balance?
Does something need to be eliminated or initiated?
How do I want to relate to my self-care?
What are my body needs?
What are my soul needs?
What parts of my spirit are really needing expression and nourishment?
Maybe I see images of hot baths, of spontaneous meetings with friends, of sensual dancing. Maybe I haven't made anything with my hands in a while, and want to set an intention around a creative project. Maybe I want to be more social, or be more alone, or more committed to my studies. Maybe I just need sleep or need to jump in the ocean or listen to new music. Or maybe I want to set a bunch of practical goal-oriented intentions and meet some deadlines. Trust whatever is unique to YOU. Vision your whole-life balance - if you could fill your life with whatever would most nourish your unique human expression, what would that be? What could that look like?
There are no right or wrong ways to set intentions with the moon and there is no particular rhyme or reason to it.
Do what feels right to you and you might expect that your relationship to this practice will fluctuate from month to month.