On this New Moon we are deep in the clutches of the Crone. Deep in the bones of Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are underground, relying on the strength of our roots to get us through the sacred darkness of the season that represents a vital part of the life cycle that we’ve been taught to avoid and ignore in the West.
We are taught to resist it, to always keep moving, even if it means loosing our footing, barely keeping our head above water, white knuckling our way through life.
In living out of alignment with the seasons of the Earth and the cycles of our bodies, we continually swim upstream, neglecting the inner wisdom that can arise only if we actually let go and let ourselves be carried by the current of life.
But we avoid the ride because the current isn’t always kind. It isn’t always enjoyable. It isn’t always pretty or perfect. It doesn’t always have the answers. It's rich with uncertainty.
The current ebbs and flows, and that’s the whole point.
The current of life isn’t here to continually keep moving and proving. It’s here to pull us under. To struggle. To surrender. To step into the realm of regeneration that only the ebb and flow of life can provide.
I learned a lot about this current when I spent a month white water canoeing in New Zealand. We rode the river from source to sea, and while landscapes changed, the eddies, rapids, rocks remained. Following the natural laws, the river never tried to avoid these elements, never tried to control them. It just poured on in response to them.
This is why I love working with the moon so much.
Because unlike us, the moon doesn’t resist certain phases. She doesn’t avoid death, dying or going dark. She knows that each phase is an essential element of living in balance.
And right now, within the seasonal and lunar map, we are in the clutches of death. The branches are bare, the moon is dark, the Earth and animals sleep. But despite all these cues from nature, our greatest teacher, most of humanity chugs on, unaware of the seasonal circadian rhythm and wisdom of Winter.
When we talk about the “New Year” it’s important to have some perspective. Ancient Cultures didn’t see the New Year as a time to spring into action. They saw it as the time of year to reflect and rest. To review and retrieve.
And that’s why most resolutions fail. Because this isn’t the time of year to act. It’s the time of year to reflect and rest. Not to do but to be.
And on this Moon, we find ourselves still deep the in the alchemical nature of Winter. And with this alchemy, we have a New Moon in Capricorn, with Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods in retrograde.
Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods, in retrograde,it brings us back to underworld of our roots. Mercury speaks to what is waiting underground.
Pair that with the feminine archetype of the Crone and we are being ushered into place of reflection and renewal to release and remind us that this too is just a phase.
But, that it is a phase. And as a phase, and as a part of the life cycle, something the ancients and native cultures understood and honored was that the second part of each cycle is not less sacred or important than the first.
When we look at the balance of life, at the peril we find our planet in, at the imbalances we face as societies, it can all be traced back to the suppression and (attempt to kill) The Wise, Old Woman.
The Crone, also known as the Elder, Gaia, Persephone, Kali and Caillech Bhearra (the Mother Goddess and Queen of Creation, Destruction, Wild Nature and Winter) all are different names for the same incarnation of the thousand named Goddess. She's most widely known today as the great Tantric Goddess Kali, the Creator and Destroyer of the Universe, the Crone lived in her own unique way in every tribe and every culture across all the native and ancient lands.
But when Patriarchy was born, The Crone was the physical and metaphysical form they most had to contend with in order to take power.
She carried the wisdom, she was revered, she was the leader of the Matriarchal Clans, she was LIFE represented by birth, life, death and rebirth.
As the midwife that oversaw all the births and the priestess that oversaw all the deaths - she was the portal between life and death.
The Creator God wasn’t a divine off planet man living up in the sky - the Creator was a Creatrix, and she was a wise old woman right here on Earth who was made from the Earth who was sacred in her sexuality and the wisdom of her age (yes, she was sexual throughout her life, even in her old years) and deeply present in her shamanic connection to and reverence for life, in all of its cycles and feminine morality.
But Patriarchy had to kill her to get a stronghold because they couldn't control men's hearts until they got rid of The Crone.
The removal of this archetype is what's gotten into this Patriarchal shit pickle of not being in balance with our bodies, with our sexuality, and with our planet. As the author Barbara Walker says,
"She is the one we most need to understand: not the pretty Virgin; not the fecund Mother; but the wise, willful, wolffish Crone."
As women, we have the opportunity to work with the The Crone each moon as she ushers us into our monthly death - just like things rest in the winter and bloom in the spring this “death” in the form of bleeding is healing and regenerating.
Death here is literal and metaphorical. Each month this phase invites us to embrace the full spectrum of what it means to be a Woman. Everything in nature has a season, birth, life, death and re-birth. The portal of death allows us to become fertile once again for life.
This is the time we R E L E A S E. We let go of our blood, our fear, our need to go and be and do and know to embrace the wisdom of the unknown. To live in a state of in between. To unravel and surrender and sink into the unknown with the knowledge that we will resurface for a renewed cycle when it ends.
The Crone, the feminine archetype of of this Moon phase asks us not just be okay with the darkness or the unknown, but to enter into it willingly and to learn through experience what it means to be in alignment with all the phases of our life, the light the dark, the seen and unseen, the known and unknown.
Pair that Mercury in retrograde + the New Moon + the Winter Solstice all ask us to rest and release.
To honor the emergence and potential of the Yew Year, but be in remembrance of the past year, so that we can clear the path to take our next step.
To have awareness for who we’ve been and what has been. To rest and give space to what needs to resurface so we can realign with what matters and take action when the time is right (aka in mid January, after retrograde ends and we have the fullness of the Moon to illuminate our action with awareness).
As Laura from the Rhythm Way says,
“This new moon takes place in the sign of Capricorn where the Builder of us meets to the one who anchors us into the Earth - the core of of our own integrity, authenticity and purpose. The sea-goat is the Capricorn glyph - part mountain goat who methodically and meticulously climbs the mountain of achievement - and part whale whose tail swirls into the watery depths of soul as if to remind us that quality of what we create is determined by our ability to listen to the still, small voice within … In the sign of Capricorn there is extra emphasis placed on both the depth of our integrity, and the structures - visible or invisible - that we create.
… This is a time of great magic, and great magic asks us to be in right timing.”
This post isn't here to dissuade you from your big goals, dreams and desires ... but it is here to urge you to clear up to what you're up to and what you're here for.
It's swaying you to resist societies pressure of living out of alignment to strive and achieve externally so that you can rest in your inner wisdom by aligning with the rhythms.
Because, yes Capricorn takes action. But the sea-goat is meticulous in each step ... and most of all, methodic in knowing when it's time to take the first step.
So if you are able to rest, if you can resist swimming against the current, you can more fully cross the threshold, back into light and aligned action when the time is right.
If you're reading this and you’ve already cleared the path, you feel solid about where you're at, then sit with your intentions. But instead of seeing resolutions, I invite you to see beginnings. And with those beginnings, to begin with how you want to feel.
After retrograde passes I’ll be back on the Full Moon to walk you through how to move forward with sure footed and soul rooted passion with your Core Desired Feelings, but for now, I leave you with Beginning, by David Whyte.
Well or beginning poorly, what is important is simply to begin, but the ability to make a good beginning is also an art form, beginning well involves a clearing away of the crass, the irrelevant and the complicated to find the beautiful, often hidden lineaments of the essential and the necessary.
Beginning is difficult, and our procrastination is a fine, ever-present measure of our reluctance to take that first close-in, courageous step in reclaiming our happiness. Perhaps, because taking a new step always leads to a kind of radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, very large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, parts of us still rehearsing the old complicated story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us too afraid to participate or having nothing now to offer, are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma, and where the very last fight occurs, a rear guard disbelief that this new, less complicated self, and this very simple step, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead.
It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer the story to be more elaborate, our identities clouded by fear, the horizon safely in the distance, the essay longer than it needs to be and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility...
‘BEGINNING’ From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
Love and love and love,