Fifty-one years ago I was born under a Full Willow Moon... A Moon associated with Beltane and the Maiden... A Moon of feminine power, earthy fertility, and in-between places - between land and water, air and fire, head and heart.
I've actually taken pages from this year's We'Moon diary as they're so perfect. I begin with Full Moon Riot by Angela Gayan Galik (2013), a wonderful poem celebrating the sheer joy of spending time with Mama Luna. To the right of the poem is Queen of Hearts - a nod to Princess Diana who's son and wife welcomed their second child yesterday, a wee princess. The image is called 'Foolish Heart' by Sophia Rosenberg (2008). Towards the bottom of the page is a page from last year's quote-a-day calendar which reads 'Daydream believer', with flowers, and leaves and butterflies... Right-hand page
Two more pages from this year's diary - a wonderful piece about Beltane by Carolyn Myers (2014) with a lovely image 'Upon a Bed of Roses' by Cori Caputo (2005). Below that is a beautiful poem by Cathy Casper called In the Middle of a Hug (2007) Then there's two elegant ladies enjoying afternoon tea in the garden, an image called 'Dancing with the Sun' by Mara Zareen Friedman (1994), and two art stamps called 'Beginnings' and 'Dreamaker'. As I write this, the sun finally makes an appearance after a cold, cold morning of wind and rain... Finally, the day feels like a May day rather than a revisit of November!
Our part of the UK has been under thick, grey cloud for a couple of days now, and it isn't forecast to disperse any time soon... So I haven't seen the Alder moon waxing to its peak, but I've been feeling its effects :)
Not surprising, this Full Moon is often called an Egg Moon coinciding with Easter and messages of new life, growth and fertility.
Left-hand page I had to start this page with a postcard of SeeQueen's beautiful meditation stone, looking both like an egg and a moon :) Followed by a page from a wee vintage poetry book and a print ATC by Dancing-Girl Art. Underneath is a fun sticker of vintage pens and inks (very much to the forefront of my mind given my current obsession with dip pens and writing letters!) And next to that is a card showing the painting 'Arboretum' by Laurel Porter-Gaylord - a beautiful, blossom-laden tree. At the bottom is an evocative image from Gillian Lee Smith's exhibition brochure We All Cast Shadows on which I've written 'there's always a story to be told'... and finally an image from an old We'Moon diary called Oshun: Goddess of Love by Sandra Stanton 1999.
Right-hand page A very simple page - a sticker of vintage stamps to show my letter-writing exploits this month, and a classic Papaya Art! sticker. Then a wee hand on which I've drawn a spiral to show all the movement and life my left hand provides... Then the words 'The Secret Coolness' from a magazine advert over another We'Moon image on which I've stuck a clockface. Lastly, a postcard from a ceramic exhibition (I can't remember when or where) on which I've stuck a crafting leaf and three wee flower stickers. And that's it. Today's Full Alder Moon evokes so much on this Easter Saturday - the day Christians remember Jesus' time in the tomb... a somber day in many ways, but also a day full of wonder, magic and mystery... a day of 'secret coolness' deep in the heart of the tomb where death turns into new life...
What a day!!! Began recording the wonders of a full solar eclipse - probably the last one I'll see (next one expected 2090!!) It was so eerie how the birds fell silent as the sky darkened... there was a heavy, reverent hush as the sun disappeared behind the moon...
My new journal method is writing with a dip pen - with sepia ink!
And of course, it's the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (Autumn in the Southern) - all things converging in this one wonderful day...
There is a definite Spring-like enthusiasm about this Dreamboard :)
There's the Spring Equinox page from this year's We'Moon diary praising the balance of day and night, the wonder of Girls, and bees, and birds...
So there's tag of a hive and a thrush proudly protecting her nest and a cute vintage playing card of a Slick Chick :)
Below these is the word Hope and this poem from a We'Moon diary
What's astounding is the five minutes worth
of trailing flocks of snow geese that pass overhead
weaving black and white lines
of distant honking
to the northeast.
I'm looking up for guidance, for reassurance,
they are following ancient patterns
they see through our map of upsets,
connecting to what is good,
what is right, what is natural and
they know what to do,
they are hauling spring in behind them.
(excerpt Mary Kate Protzman 2010)
with a gorgeous painting by amara bronwyn hollow bones (2009) behind it.
Then these a splendid African woman/goddess and a Papaya Art postcard with the words 'dwell in possibility...', the word Dream and a vintage illustration of Zulu Women.
And at the bottom of the page a Spring kitchen window, a wee bird singing in the Alder New Moon and a mandala with the words Balance, Light and Dark.
Wow, a very full page!!
A string of hydrangeas edges the page, then a page from last year's quote-a-day calender declaring 'be happy' and a page from an old We'Moon diary about the Wild Child (March 20 - April 18). Below here are the words that came to me as I pondered the new Alder Moon:
Apparently every part of the Alder is useful - the bark for tanning leather, the leaves for dyeing, and the wood is strong and waterproof and perfect for building bridges...
Next to my list is a wee flap page with the word Play on it where I've written Sap Rising and Time to Grow. It's a secret what's under the top flap...
And on the bottom row is a watercolour palette with pinks and greens, another wee bee, a painting of a sculpture of a woman's form and this poem by Renee Hummel (2006)
Don't Sit Still
Don't sit still! Let your inner being pulse with the wings of a bird rising and falling with the breath. Let the wild thing inside you soar beyond its cage unseen by the keepers of the classroom or the office who would have you stay motionless dying within your skin. Don't sit still! As though your teeming energy submitted to these chains. Let the waters of your body roar, churning oceans in a seashell. Let the rhythmic snake inside climb the tree unseen. Let the tips of your fingers open, curiously, each one the eye of some wild creature. Don't sit still! Let your inner being venture out into the wildest terrain, tasting the fruits that flourish there, tasting the fresh unsheltered sky. Deftly seek the motion that you may find in stillness, for there is a current of life inside you, strong enough to lift your pinioned feathers into flight. This is EXACTLY how I've been feeling these past few days... Having discovered I can write quite legibly with my new dip pens, I've been scribbling and feeling my spirits soar every time I dip the pen into the ink, leaning on my beloved writing slope...
Truly, I feel powerful and able to do anything, and go anywhere my words choose to take me... After almost 8 years inside the cage of disability, I feel REBORN...
As my Full Moon Dreamboard journal is A4 (as compared to the A3 New Moon one), each spread seems to fill up very quickly - a handful of images on each side, and we're done! There are echoes of the words and images from the New Moon, and once again I repeated the 'Invocation' poem... I plan to type that out and mount it on card, so I can say it before I create each Dreamboard...
Left-hand page is pretty self-explanatory. The egg tag has the info on this Full Moon written on the back (date, main themes/thoughts). The stunning female torso wood carving is called 'Harmony' by Marsea H. Ilio (1989) image from old We'Moon diary. The 'Find Beauty in Rain' is from last year's 'quote-a-day' calendar and the Klimt tree of life is from a greetings card. The blue woman is called 'Prayer to Tara' by Molly Sullivan (2002) and links with Right-hand page
... where the words of the prayer are written
creatrix of all
in ancient space.
May we all
arise as Tara
May we all
like you Ma
like you Ma
arise in me.
Other images include another page from the quote-a-day calendar 'Live Simply', a Papaya! Art postcard with the Chinese proverb 'If you keep a green bough in your heart, then the singing bird will come.' Below that is a card with the words 'Our ability to be compassionate and experience our humanness never leaves us' from my stash - I just love the yellow primroses being cradled in gentle hands... Then an Art&Ghosts image of a typing rabbit (of course!) and finally another We'Moon image called 'Wisdom' by Meinrad Craighead (1983). I have felt the power and the rhythm of this Ash Moon month, with the Celtic themes of 'As above, so below' - the sense of deep stirrings in the earth, in my belly, manifesting above ground in my body... And it will continue as this Full Moon shines brightly and then slowly wanes down to the next New Moon, which just so happens to coincide with the Spring Equinox (oh my!) I suspect there will be even more of Nature's power to come...
Another powerful board, which came together very easily... Somehow, I knew this morning as this landed in my mailbox from the lovely folk at Panhala.net, this would be a GOOD Dreamboard. And yes, I read it aloud as an invocation as I prepared myself to make this New Moon Dreamboard
Let us try what it is to be true to
to grace, to the given, faithful to our own voices,
to lines making the map of our
Turned toward the root of a single word, refusing
solemnity and slogans, let us honor
and does not come easy to speech. The pebbles
we hold in our mouths help us to
and we sing to the sea. May the things of this world
be preserved to us, their beautiful
vocabularies. We are dreaming it over and new,
the language of our tribe, music we
we can only acknowledge. May the naming powers
be granted. Our words are
feathers that fly
on our breath. Let them go in a holy direction.
~ Jeanne Lohmann ~
(Between Silence and Answer)
As always, I useAmy Palko's Bloom by Moon to learn about the Ash Moon...
The Ash has very deep roots to draw up the Earth's goodness. For the Celts it was the Tree of Life, for its roots went down so far into the Lower World, its branches reached so high into the Upper World, and its tall, straight trunk stood tall in the Middle World.
Water and emotions are strong in this New Moon of Aquarius, but Amy also ties in the 'soft animal of your body' (from Mary Oliver's Wild Geese poem) as the outer expression of those emotions...
As the Ash tree connects the Worlds ('As above, so below'), can we in our animal bodies connect our deep, inner worlds and share them truthfully and honestly. Can we, as Mary Oliver says
let the soft
animal of your body
love what it loves.
I plan to ponder these things each day until my next Dreamboard on the Full Moon.
I'd love to know if you have any thoughts/insights...
And I just had to share this, taken this morning
Molly-cat knows her soft animal body loves to sleep in the warm sunlight (even though it's freezing outside!!)
What a morning! Flipping Google is making my online life a misery **ggrrrr** But now I've finally been able to log into both Blogger and Picasa, and I can post my Rowan Full Moon Dreamboard, even if I can't get the image of the whole spread to upload... *sigh* Left-hand page Starting top-left is this year's We'moon Diary page for Imbolc which begins...
The NEW ONES are stirring. Feel the vibration of Nature in February. Every-thing in potential, teeming underground...
And underneath is an image from a card called 'Replenishing Her Spirit' by Laurel Porter-Gaylord, and I'm certainly feeling this deep in my belly as I make this Dreamboard...
Then, top-right is an image of a woman communing with a tree and the words 'A Walk on the Wild Side' from a magazine advert. Underneath is an image of a raven in the snow from a card and finally a gorgeous image of a winter goddess, her face illuminated by runes...
At the top are pages from old We'Moon diaries showing a woman drumming a painting by Melissa Harris (2010) called 'With Soul', a wee image called 'Ancient Moonlight' by amara hollow bones (2009) and this powerful poem by Robin Rose Bennett (2011)
The Times We're Living In
It is not so easy to see what is birthing
Beneath the surface of the world,
Getting ready to emerge
Like a newborn crowning.
As old ways of domination and violation
Fight to hold sway,
A great birthing has begun,
The birth of a new way
Of being in the world
A way of re-connection and shared power,
A way of cooperation and love.
We are flowering out of the mud
Of our darkest time of separation
Evolving from the time of me
To the time of we.
This time is difficult, yes,
But it is also juicy and joyous.
It is not easy to soar through mud
But mud is rich and fertile
And out of mud
The lotus blooms.
At the bottom of the page is another We'Moon image by Autumn Skye Morrison called 'A Keeper's Promise' (2007) and two quotes from last year's calendar, which just sum up this whole Dreamboard
There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.
In the end, it's all about Love.
Before the end of this moon's cycle, we will encounter St Valentine's Day - not a day I've ever chosen to celebrate, for me Love is just so much MORE then romance, and flowers, and chocolates...
It is THE truly BIG concept, which covers every human interaction with the world in which we live - starting with the Love we have for ourselves... *eek* Probably one of the hardest loves to practise...
I don't see it as a coincidence that this is the 13th Full Moon Dreamboard I've made... It is the number of the goddess, of feminine spirit, and I can just feel the energy seeping out of it... Can you??
It's the feast of Candlemas, the story of presenting the baby Jesus at the Temple and the prophecies of Anna and Simeon. And it's St Brigid's Day and Imbolc, the time of 'stirrings in the belly'. The time for making reed crosses and bridie dolls...
What a confluence of stories and traditions across times and cultures... It is a powerful, in-and-out-of-time, kind of day! In the northern hemisphere, it is the beginnings of Spring and lengthening days. And I, for one, am so glad the long, dark month of January has passed, and the light is returning! I love how the sun's rays are just catching the head of the wee bridie doll above to give her a halo!! Here's the closing blessing of Christine Valters Paintner's Stirring in the Belly mini retreat for today:
May you feel the seeds in your belly rumbling
as they yearn to break open and release new life.
May the breaking open of these seeds be
an earthquake shifting the plates of your soul.
May you notice the tiny green shoots
breaking through the ground of your awareness.
May you feel the pull of your very being
reaching toward the abundance of God,
as the stem is drawn toward the sunlight.
May you experience the unfurling of your petals
one by one in a blaze of color.
May you feel yourself stretched wide
in a posture of welcoming to all that is yet to be spoken within you.
There are definite themes in this Rowan Moon - the first New Moon of 2015. According to Amy Palko's Bloom by Moon
Take these visions and ground them in practical action. Let them take root and gain strength from the energy that flows from deep within the Earth's core. Let them offer you their gifts of vision and protection.
And I've written this out on the right-hand page on a image on which I'm stuck a wee wooden house and a sticker with a heart kite withe word Fly
Another theme is 'the space between', which is written on the trees postcard - the space between the vision and the 'practical action', but also the space between mentioned in the poem 'Blessing' by Patrice Haan (2010) from an old We'moon diary at the bottom of the page
Grace meets you between two heartbeats,
In a blink, pulse, shift of breeze rippling cat's fur, all is changed,
And the world, which leaned into its negative pole, glances,
fascinated by the positive, all
before breakfast, before the day's first tasks.
The great longing lifts
like a voice, like wings, and soars
effortlessly, splendidly, a thing of such joy
the bird stops singing and the animals
come out to listen. All the people put down their masks and
tools and stand awash in the moment. What
will we tell the children? How remember the instant
we glimpsed grace and knew true peace like
stars at night, water in the desert, the first great
breath on surfacing.
I've also remembered St Brigid, whose feast day is in a couple of weeks, with the image She Tends the Flame by Megaera (2006) with words by Donna Henes (2003)
One by one, in tiny increments, candle by candle,
gesture by effort, wish by prayer, concern by care,
we feed the life-fires of the soul and light
the infinite universe, little by little from within.
The left-hand page is less busy and is pretty self-explanatory - with images from the Toast catalogue and various magazines...
As I sit with this completed dreamboard, I think of my visions, my seeds, my intentions for the New Year, for this New Moon...
Foremost is beginning the e-course Lunar Flow - the first part of Marissa's CMP course (there's a button on the sidebar)...
... I really can't wait to start and will be sharing as the weeks unfold. I've boldly written my intention for the CMP course in the course handbook:
To connect with my inner wisdom.
To learn to trust my gut using the moon, chakras, stones and tarot.
To build on what I've picked up on these things over the years and dive deep into my own real Knowing.
My Word for 2015 is DELVE and I intend to delve deeper and deeper through this course.
... and perused the internet to find a chakra balancing meditation. After trying several - the sound of water doesn't calm me, loud jungle song doesn't centre me, but this man's soothing voice did - and I found the meditation, with its beginning and end rooted in Mother Earth, very energizing and grounding. I will use it whenever I feel all-over-the-place/agitated/scattered...
Here's Mama Luna making moonbows (moon rainbows!) at 5 am this morning... A last hoorah before she sank behind the trees...
This is why early morning is my favourite time :) I decided to tap into her full-moon energy to finally pin down my Word for 2015, which has been proving quite elusive as my body's struggled with a robust sinus infection for several weeks... I felt quite strongly that I wanted just one Word having had phrases for the past two years (Be a Vessel - 2013, Make Known - 2014). I sat with Unlock for a while... then Mystery... but nothing sat quite right... One phrase kept coming up Dig Deeper, but as I sat in the moon's glow this morning I told her I just wanted ONE Word... And so she gave me this :)
v.delved, delv·ing, delves
1. To searchdeeplyandlaboriously:delvedthroughthecourtrecords.
a. To research or makeinquiriesintosomething:scientistsdelvingintogeneregulation.
b. To undertake an activity or occupationundeterred by difficulty or uncertainty:delvedintowriting a blog.
c. To discuss or explainsomething,especially in detail:Thearticledelvesintotheproblemsfacingthebankingsystem.
3. To enter or moveinto an area in whichmovement is difficult:Theexplorersdelvedintotheforest.
4. To digtheground, as with a spade.
Archaic To dig(ground)with a spade.
[MiddleEnglishdelven, to dig, fromOldEnglishdelfan.]
Having lived most of my adult life in my head, governed by thoughts and learned knowledge, I've realized in this past year I want to live my crone years (I turned 50 in April 2014) consciously in my body, in my feelings, in my gut... I've grown more interested in the moon over the last couple of years, and its effect on my mood, and more recently I've been drawn to stones/crystals. Not that I want to be a crystal healer/therapist particularly, more for personal interest and curiosity. I have an internal struggle with all this. My Oxford-educated brain says it's all hokum and I should know better! But my body, my gut, say otherwise... It feels a deep connection to certain stones, different phases of the moon, and I want to explore this further - without judgement and with an open heart and mind.