About Dana Gerhardt

A popular columnist with The Mountain Astrologer since 1991, Dana Gerhardt is an internationally respected astrologer. She has lectured extensively and written for astrology publications on several continents. Her ongoing passions are the moon and living the intuitive life. Dana worked for many years in the corporate sector, where she observed the undeniable influence of natural cycles. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles and did graduate work in literature at Columbia University and CSULA. Dana can be contacted by email.

Healing with Moonlight

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Full Moons can be busy times. If you’re feeling tired and a bit off balance, you may be suffering from “energy retention,” a condition much like water retention (which is also common during Full Moons). With energy retention, the currents or flows in your field seem to expand without actually going anywhere. It can feel like you just ate a big meal, stuffed and lethargic. If you find yourself in this condition, there’s a simple remedy: Fill your inner self with moonlight.  It has the power to calm soothe and dissolve the tension.

Your imagination and your breath are all that you need.  As you draw breath inward, imagine that moonlight is also drawing into the internal spaces of your body. It helps to do this slowly.  If you have an area of your body that’s congested, in pain, or otherwise weakened, draw moonlight here.  Another  great practice is to fill your feet with this healing light.  Your feet represent precious soul space in your body.  They have connections with every other part of your body’s temple.  Bring moonlight into your feet and notice how the entire inner space gets charged. Or just keep filling yourself.  Draw the light all the way to the top of your head.  Do whatever will be most healing for you now.  Let the mind cool.

Filling with this wonderful medicine while you’re bathing  in outer moonlight usually improves the experience–but sometimes the energy is too much. Experiment. Is this practice more profound if you’re outdoors or indoors? Be sure to notice how you feel before your moon-working.  Notice how you feel after.  Move slowly. Allow the energy to find its natural flow again.

Full Moons are a traditional time for contemplation. But there are many ways to do Moon practice. More is available in my monthly Moon Workshop:  info and enrollment here!

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3 Minute Full Moon Ritual

Ritual: Gemini Sagittarius Full Moon

Drawing down the moon…

Imagine above you the round glowing disc of the moon, bathing you in a protective circle of light. Vibrant with energy, your space is transformed, filled with the purity of spirit. Stand and raise your arms above your head. Let your palms face each other and curve slightly toward the moon. Feel as though you’re a sacred chalice, drawing the power of the Great Mother into every cell of your being—from your toes, to your womb, to your breasts, to your jaw, and your eyes. Feel the pleasure of this energy. It is vibrant with the power to give, to receive, to nurture life, and manifest what is possible.

Sending your blessings…

Draw your hands to your heart. Massage this area. Feel that you have become the goddess, capable of balancing the earth and harmonizing its opposing forces. In particular you are tuned to the forces of Sagittarius and Gemini, signs devoted to knowledge, truth, understanding, and communication. Out of balance, they bring righteousness, gossip, judgment, confusion, and lies. This negativity circles the globe like a dark smoke. Know that if you breathe in this smoke you have the power to transform it in your heart and breathe it out as the pure white light of the goddess. Read the affirmations and visualize the world’s darkness dissolving with your breath. Find a comfortable rhythm and repeat the statements until your light has transformed the world.

  • Breathing in…
    gossip and lies.
  • Breathing out…
    truth.
  • Breathing in…
    righteous judgement.
  • Breathing out…
    knowledge and understanding.
  • Breathing in…
    confusion and hatred.
  • Breathing out…
    insight and love.

Grounding the energy…

See the world bathed in the purifying light of your offering: the sleeping babies, the politicians arguing, the starving children, liars and thieves. See the world transforming with this light, growing peaceful and calm. When you are ready, bring your hands to your sides, palms facing the earth. Send your divine light deep into the earth. See this energy take shape as a round moon, gathering below you in the center of the earth. Feel yourself slowly coming back into your body. Rest in this peace until you are ready to return to your life. Blessed


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3 Minute New Moon Ritual

Ritual: Taurus New Moon

Ground your body, clear your mind…

Become aware of your body. Notice how gravity holds and connects you to earth. It’s as though your body is an ancient stone temple—solid, strong, secure. Sanctify this temple. Imagine a priestess is pouring sacred water and scattering rose petals, all the way down, from your head to your toes. Any anxiety or negativity washes away. Notice the thoughts and feelings leaving the temple—your judgments, your distracted mind, your worried heart. Be sure to honor them. Give each a smile and a piece of cake as it departs.

Draw a circle of protection, call in blessings…

Visualize a ring of fragrant flowers surrounding you, protecting you. Know that you are safe and relaxed. Breathe deeply. Feel the power of the Sun and Moon pouring into your circle. The energy of Taurus is gathering in your circle. It is patient and sensual. It is loyal and artistic. It is capable and strong. Continue absorbing this energy as you read the Taurus affirmations.

  • Earth sustains me.
  • I am creative.
  • I am rich with abundance.
  • I slow down and savor each moment.
  • I delight in my senses.
  • I am productive.
  • I love pleasure.
  • I am secure.

Allow seed intentions to form…

Your intentions for this cycle are gathering. You may already know what you wish to accomplish. Or you may not. Trust that all will unfold perfectly in time. Know that this brief ritual has aligned you with spirit. Now ask your heart if it has a closing message for you. This may come in words or as a picture, perhaps as a body sensation or sound. Give yourself time to receive this message. Digest it. Write it down. Then, in gratitude to yourself and spirit, return to normal awareness. Place a symbol of your Taurus New Moon message on your altar.


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Taurus New Moon: Calling Venus

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Let this Taurus New Moon stimulate your senses and draw you into the magic of your ordinary world. Do you feel a quickening in your body? A desire to experience even more earthly delights? Ritual is a time-honored way to attract invisible assistance in manifesting your desires. And it’s a wonderful way to deepen play with the creative earth energy of Taurus. That’s why every Spring, on an auspicious Friday, during the Venus-ruled Taurus season, I perform the Santeria ritual for Oshun.  As the Yoruba goddess of fresh waters, Oshun oversees the same delights that Venus does. I call “Venus” with Oshun’s ritual and neither goddess seems to mind the confusion.

The first time I did the ceremony as a lark.  Venus rules pleasures, money and love—who wouldn’t be eager for more of that!  To ensure a powerful result, I knew I needed to be as specific as possible.  I meditated on my desires—they seemed faraway, perhaps impossible, but I knew exactly what I was dreaming of: I wanted a fabulous new home and a man to share it with.  Given the magnitude of my request—wouldn’t it take time to bring such bounty!—I figured it wasn’t too soon to let Venus know.

I gathered the requisite ingredients: a dinner roll, a nickel, my desires written down on a piece of paper, some honey, and a candle.  I prepared them as instructed. The ritual was supposed to conclude with tossing the combined ingredients into a body of fresh (not salty) running water. This was not easy to find in my suburban neighborhood.  And I was not going to toss my dreams in the toilet—the common suburban substitute for ritual running water.  Thankfully, a receptionist at the local water company told me of an unmarked spot three miles north of the main road. There, in an unnamed stream moving briskly through a forgotten oak grove, I surrendered my dreams to Venus. She could help me or not!

Just six weeks later I found myself in escrow on a home so beautiful, with waterfalls, French windows, breath-taking views, it was grander than my wildest dreams. And guess what—the man arrived too, bringing a loan for the down payment and a desire to move in with me!

I was stunned.

I’ve performed the Santeria Oshun ritual many times since. None of my subsequent rituals have surpassed the sheer drama of that first result. Yet my repeated petitions to Venus have brought something far more profound: Venus is now a living presence in my life. My exquisite dream house has since been sold, its profits funding a prosperity of ease and playfulness that was once only a dream of mine. The man who materialized after that first ritual has since moved on, allowing another man, even more passionate, to join my life. My days are more pleasure-filled than ever before. No longer is Venus just a figment of my imagination. She’s a real being whom I actively serve, by celebrating what she loves.

It’s not the desire to pile up Venusian goodies that prompts my annual rituals. The sparkle and rush of running streams in my neighborhood, the teasing bowers of new Spring growth—they stir me to it. One time, after preparing our rolls and burning our candles, my partner and I drove to a local creek. I could sense Venus dancing in the water and among the leaves. I could feel her within, a rising joy. “Oh let’s pick a good spot, so we can watch our rolls float awhile downstream!” I focused into the pleasure of the moment and flung my bread into the water. I watched as it swiftly sailed through the sun-lit current, until it went out of view.

Exhilarated, I turned to my partner. His face was glum. There was his bread, inches away from where he’d thrown it, pinned against a rock. Every moment in ritual is a telling one. If what shows up is contrary to our desires, it indicates what might be in our way, or what is unclear about our current state of mind. My partner had been feeling stuck in his life for awhile. He shrugged his shoulders and turned toward the car. “No!  We must free it!” Was it Venus speaking in me?  We tossed stones, laughed, nearly fell into the water, and then his roll sprung free and went on its way. At home that night, we honored Venus deliciously.

Gods and humans need each other.  We love their magic.  They love our acknowledgement.  It is through us that they live!  I hope you spend this Taurus Moon cycle living the joy of Venus.  Use the Santeria ritual, or any other means!

Santeria Venus Ritual

One of the best ways I know to ask for Venus blessings is the Santeria Venus ritual (described by Casey in her Making the Gods Work for You. I make sure I perform this ritual every year during the Taurus cycle.  I encourage you to do the same!

  1. It’s best to perform this ritual on a Friday—which is Venus’ day.  You’ll need a round piece of bread, like a dinner roll.  Make a hole in it and put a nickel or five pennies inside (the number five is sacred to Venus).
  2. On a small piece of paper, clearly state your desires.  Fold this paper and put it into the bread, on top of your nickel.  Then pour a little honey on top of that (as Casey always says, “for obvious symbolic reasons!”).
  3. Finally, place a small candle in the hole (bigger than a birthday candle, but smaller than a taper).  Casey suggests a yellow candle, though I’ve found different colors fun to play with.
  4. Light the candle.  As it is burning, honor Venus:   take a luxurious bath, go shopping, make love.  Do something that makes you feel juicy, beautiful, pampered, prosperous, and happy.  Like attracts like—a delightful like-minded mood attracts Venus like nothing else!
  5. When the candle is completely burned down, so that only melted wax is on the bread, take it to sweet flowing water—a stream or a river, but nothing salty like the ocean.  Toss this now ritually potent (and fully bio-degradable) roll into the water, reciting an invocation, poem, or prayer of your choice.
  6. The goddess will respond to your desires in the coming weeks. She might fulfill your dreams in miraculous ways. Or she might play the trickster—revealing a blind spot that still stands in the way of your desires.

 

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Mars is Retrograde till the End of June

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Feeling tired? Cranky? Lost your momentum? Mars stationed retrograde on April 17 and will go direct on June 29.  During this time, whatever Mars rules is said to be weakened, including your vitality or your will to dare and win.  The sharp tools that are traditionally used for surgeries are Mars implements–so this is traditionally not a good time for surgeries.  Nor is it an auspicious time to launch a business, initiate a lawsuit, or start a war.  He who leaps during the retrograde tends to regret it.  These are the rules, but the whole world won’t stop. Runners will still run. Surgeons will still perform surgeries and not all will fail!  So instead of worrying about the rules, look for the retrograde in your own experiences.  Mars is about action, anger, courage, and heat. To help your meditations on Mars, following is an excerpt about Mars Retro from my monthly Moon Workshop:

Do keep your Mars glasses on in the weeks ahead! Look for active expressions of this archetype in your world. The retrograde already began for me a week ago when I had an unexpected DIY project, which required getting a couple plywood planks cut at the local lumber store.  Wouldn’t you know… at the lumber store, the fancy man-sized (and Mars-ruled) saw needed to cut my wood sported a sign that said “Broken.”  No other store had the wood I needed and no one knew when the saw would get fixed. I was told to call daily, which I did. My project languished for a week. And the retrograde was just beginning!

Mars retrogrades are less frequent than Mercury or Venus retrogrades—but they’re still relatively common, occurring every two to two-and-a-half years. Mars was last retrograde from March to May of 2014—when the world was gripped by the mystery of Malaysia Flight 370—a perfectly strange expression of an errant Mars.  Whether the plane disappeared because of rogue premeditated action, or some disastrous fire, explosion, or critical malfunction, all are Mars themes. If you recall the time, there was an odd paralysis of our hearts as well. It was difficult to grieve those we still hoped were alive. The suspiciously delayed actions of the Malaysian government further illustrate how retrogrades can work. Given the discovery in recent weeks of some debris from this plane, perhaps the mystery will get resolved during this Mars retrograde. Sometimes retrogrades continue the theme from their previous ones.

Checking my Moon journal, I see that I was an injured warrior during the last Mars retro. My knee was swollen and I was limping. Natal Mars says something about our preferred types of activity. What does your Mars say about you? Even though Mars currently retrogrades in Sagittarius, your natal Mars may be part of this party. With my Mars in Libra, I’ve always preferred the slow and graceful movements of yoga or ballet to the jumping and pumping of aerobic exercise. But during the last Mars retrograde, I was anything but graceful! I was horribly clumsy—and I had the minor bruises, burns, and cuts to prove it. I spilled things.On the way to cleaning something, I’d make a worse mess. And the chair I bought which was supposedly easy to assemble—sat in the garage in its box. I wasn’t up to handling the Mars implements needed to assemble it until well after Mars went direct.

The beauty of universal astrology factors is that we’ll all be touched in some way. There are spectacular events—but also a lot of small ones, so small they’re virtually unnoticeable unless you’re looking for them. And if you find how the archetype of Mars has touched you—then next you need to ponder what he’s bringing. A message? An affectionate kick in the butt? My Mars clumsiness gave me a better sense of humor about myself—and it improved my yoga practice, the benefits of which I’m still enjoying today.  I’m looking forward to the unexpected blessings this retro will bring.  In the meantime, patience and humor are smart companions for the next two months.  Also this bit of Mars Retro wisdom: sometimes, turning away or backing down is the fastest way to get ahead.

Follow the sky each month all year long with my Moon Workshop.  Enroll here!

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3 Minute Full Moon Ritual

Ritual: Taurus Scorpio Full Moon

Drawing down the moon…

Imagine above you the round glowing disc of the moon, bathing you in a protective circle of light. Vibrant with energy, your space is transformed, filled with the purity of spirit. Stand and raise your arms above your head. Let your palms face each other and curve slightly toward the moon. Feel as though you’re a sacred chalice, drawing the power of the Great Mother into every cell of your being—from your toes, to your womb, to your breasts, to your jaw, and your eyes. Feel the pleasure of this energy. It is vibrant with the power to give, to receive, to nurture life, and manifest what is possible.

Sending your blessings…

Draw your hands to your heart. Massage this area. Feel that you have become the goddess, capable of balancing the earth and harmonizing its opposing forces. In particular you are tuned to the energies of Taurus and Scorpio. Taurus is earthy, sensual, and attractive, drawing in what it needs to feel comfortable and secure. It is slow-moving, like the earth, also lush and abundant. Scorpio is mysterious, hidden, and attractive in a potent, magnetic way. It holds its power deeply inward, like a jewel in an underground cavern. Both are “fixed” signs, strong, persevering, and capable of great commitment and depth of character. Both are deeply rooted in sexual experience. Pleasure-loving Taurus loves to touch and be touched, to be stimulated by scents and tastes. Scorpio is intensely passionate and capable of a thrilling intimacy once it trusts. Both are also the primary money signs—keen to manage the vast resources of wealth in the world.

When we are in balance at the Full Moon, we vibrate with the energy of both signs. This is a passionate time! But if we are out of balance, we may tip into more negative expressions of one or both signs. Taurus can be stubborn and indolent, dictatorial, or resistant to change. Scorpio can be overcome with emotional turmoil, vengeful, jealous, and secretive—or power-mad and controlling. Even if you are feeling balanced, surely there are those in the world this season who are stuck in the negative energies. Imagine that with your goddess vision, you have the ability to see this negativity circling the globe like a dark smoke. Know that if you breathe in this smoke you have the power to transform it in your heart—breathing it out as the pure white light of the goddess. Read the affirmations and visualize the world’s darkness dissolving with your breath. Find a comfortable rhythm and repeat the statements until your light has transformed the world.

  • Breathing in…
    Lonely rooms, isolated hearts, cold despots.
  • Breathing out…
    Love’s comforting and passionate touch.
  • Breathing in…
    Poverty; the fear there’s just not enough.
  • Breathing out…
    An abundant flow of wealth, satisfying every need.
  • Breathing in…
    The habit of unhappiness, being stuck in the past.
  • Breathing out…
    Magical transformations, just for the asking!

Grounding the energy…

See the world bathed in the purifying light of your offering: the sleeping babies, the politicians arguing, the starving children, liars and thieves. See the world transforming with this light, growing peaceful and calm. When you are ready, bring your hands to your sides, palms facing the earth. Send your divine light deep into the earth. See this energy take shape as a round moon, gathering below you in the center of the earth. Feel yourself slowly coming back into your body. Rest in this peace until you are ready to return to your life. Blessed be.


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Drink the Full Moon

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If somebody sold Moon Water in my town, sales would be brisk. Ashland Oregon is abundant with individuals who genuinely revere the Divine Feminine and believe in the powers of subtle energies. And while quite a few of us actually dance under the Full Moon, many more of us, unfortunately, simply dance with the idea of doing it, and most months, we’re even too busy for that. Hence: the attractiveness of purchasing Moon Water. Imagine, having Moon Water in an elegant yet handy spray bottle, so that throughout the day, we could mist our feet, hands, face, and heart with the healing touch of the Moon. At night we could mist our pillows to draw soothing or illuminating dreams. With Moon Water we could charge our crystals. We could brew psychic teas. We could revive ailing pets and house plants.

But alas, Moon Water has not yet hit our shelves. So it is only during those months when we are so fully in tune with the Feminine that we’re able to use this exquisite opportunity each Full Moon brings, not only to charge a jar of spring water, but also to enchant ourselves. While making time to do this is difficult, the procedure itself is simple.

Pour purified water into a glass jar. Place it outside in the moonlight. Stand there awhile. Feel into the moonlight. Close your eyes. Imagine that the Moon is descending and has become a glowing orb just inches above the crown of your head. Feel how the Moon’s light now enters your body, nourishing each of your chakras, filling your cells.

Once you’re filled with the sense of the Moon, open your eyes. Slowly and lovingly circle your right hand in a clockwise direction over the water, nine times. Then do the same with your left hand, counter-clockwise, nine times. After that, over the jar, form a triangle with the index fingers and thumbs of both hands. Into the center of the triangle, pour your gratitude for the gift the Moon is bringing you.

Then wait a minute or two. You may or may not receive a message, perhaps an image, a word, or a sensation. After you feel complete, rub your hands together and shake them out. Leave the bottled water out all night, but retrieve it early in the morning, before it’s touched by the Sun’s rays.

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Make New Moon Magic with Solarized Water

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Water is a highly sensitive medium. It can receive, hold, and transmit energy. And the Moon, of course, has a special relationship with water, as the prime mover of our inner and outer tides. Since New and Full Moons are high tide moments, doing water practices at these times can greatly increase your energetic sensitivity to the Moon. It will also give you a magical liquid for drinking, cleaning, and plant watering.  Does it really work? Try it on this Aries New Moon and see for yourself! After charging the liquid, hold the bottle or jar and tune in. Then take a drink. Do the same with a glass filled with uncharged water. You may notice a difference.

So here’s what you do: on the day after the New Moon, sometime between sunrise and noon, place a jar of purified water in the sunlight. I like to prepare the water on the night of the New Moon and leave it waiting to catch the early morning beams. Afterwards, I store the water (or natural oil for massaging its virtues into the skin) in a cool dark place until I need it. You can enhance the sign’s vibration by using colored glass or filtering the sunlight through transparent paper or silks.  Aries rules the head, face, and brain. Its solarized water will increase courage and vitality, bring victory in battle, strengthen new beginnings, and can ease depression.  To filter this water through the universally accepted color for Aries, use red.  But tune in first–is this the color you need? You may find another is more energizing, Go with it.

I always leave the water on my altar for a day–this seems to help it hold the charge. Again, try it and see for yourself. The lunation-charged water may feel more stimulating. Depending on your intuitive strengths, you may “hear” the water instead, or see colors. If you can’t sense anything at first, don’t worry. This comes with time. Just making the attempt will start to open you. With New Moon water, you may be able to sense some of the qualities of the New Moon sign—if you can’t, let your imagination help; just imagine how Aries would feel if it were water.

It’s the first New Moon of the season, which is a great time to begin my monthly Moon Workshop:  info and enrollment here!

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Aries New Moon: Energy Meditation

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Energy. Where to find it, how to grow it, how to conserve it, and how to channel it: that is the spiritual task for this month’s New Moon in the sign of impulsive and life-loving Aries.

As all true magicians know, the secret of magic lies in the skillful use of one’s life energy. How you choose to direct your energy is THE force that shapes your life.

To begin your meditation on energy, settle into a quiet, reflective state of mind.  Watch how your breath slowly finds its own rhythm. Let your mind follow this rhythm, like a boat gently riding on the water. Notice how calm you feel. As you breathe, your usual worries and concerns recede and disappear. From this relaxed and expansive space, observe your energy level.  Tune into your inner space.  Does it feel tired, sluggish, or drained? Is it jumping with enthusiasm? Perhaps you’re somewhere in between, enjoying a stable and consistent level of vitality.

After noting your energy level, consider your recent energy flow. Still following the rhythm of your breath, see yourself in a one-woman boat, traveling on an imaginary river that allows you to return to the events of recent days.  Pick a specific point in time, like yesterday, or a month ago, whatever feels relevant. Imagine flying above yourself, so that you have a bird’s eye view of things.  From this vantage, observe how you’ve been moving through time.

What’s your body been doing? On the banks of your river, see the people and places where you have spent your energy.  There’s the house that you cleaned.  Your kids, who needed your help with their homework. There’s the gym, the garden, the living room couch where you may collapse at night. There’s the office, with the computer screen your eyes stare at for hours.  Notice where your physical energy went.

Where and how has your heart been traveling?  See this in the flowing currents of your river.  Is the water fast-moving, full of twists and turns?  Does it splash over rocks and spill onto the shore?  Or is it just trickling through a narrow groove in the dirt?  What has your emotional level been? Consider now the content of your heart’s attention. Has it been noticing nature’s dance of green vitality? Has it been obsessing about a disappointing relationship? Worried about how much you have to do? Excited about something new?

Still traveling in your boat, seeing yourself from above, now investigate where your mind has been going.  See how the water of your imaginary river can become filled with your recent thoughts. What do you see there?  Gossip?  Work thoughts?  Money worries?  Fantasies?   Does your river of thoughts also hold your prayers, dreams, and reflections?

As you’ve been observing your flow, studying where your energy has been going, you’ve likely noticed that some of your precious vitality has been spent wisely, and some of it has been wasted.  For example, you may be tired, but for a good, creative reason. Or, you may feel lots of energy bubbling inside, but it keeps being funneled into meeting other people’s demands. A healthy use of energy opens up new paths to adventure. Negative energy outlets lead us down a dead end road.

What’s a better vision?  Again take your bird’s eye view, and see yourself again in your one-woman boat, relaxing on the currents of your breath, only now, you are flowing into your future.  On the shore, in the distance ahead, see where you’d like to land 29 days from now.  What changes would you like to see by the Taurus New Moon?

Once you have clarified your destination, see yourself flowing toward it, with confidence and ease. If you want to write a book, see your boat flowing into this activity with love and enthusiasm. You may envision a garden blossoming, a job expanding, understanding deepen, or a relationship flourish. Notice how fresh is the water of your future river. It’s sparkling with vitality and joy. On the banks of your future river, nature is bursting with life force. Feel yourself a part of this energy.  See yourself making the choices that reflect a wiser use of your vitality. Let it take you towards the realization of your dreams.

Remember: you are the magician of your own life. Wherever you choose to put your precious energy, there magic–black or white, positive or negative–will surely happen. With the Aries New Moon, your life begins anew all over again.

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Call and Response: Aries New Moon

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It’s another new moon: when the magically minded make wishes and astrologers attempt to divine this cycle’s intentions. The wishes you make now may indeed be super-powered, but if you don’t have a strong relationship with the archetypes, don’t expect special favors. If you rarely go jogging with your wild Uncle George, don’t expect him to take you sky-diving. New Moons are potent times to forge alliances with the gods. Visit the invisible world. Bow and open yourself to their touch. Make an offering. When you call out to the gods, they do respond!

Calling Aries

Aries never looks before he leaps. His mother never cautioned, “If you run with a stick you’ll poke an eye out!” At six, he challenged bullies twice his size. At sixteen he built his castle; he made the ceilings tall as sequoia trees. He strung an acrobat’s tightrope from room to room—sixty feet up, no net below. Now that he’s much older, he flies a hang-glider from the bedroom to the library, where there are books everywhere. Biographies and autobiographies—all about him: how he crossed the Alps with Hannibal, wrestled grizzlies, escaped from pirates; he’s even been to the Moon.

Aries is popular with the ladies—the celestial ladies. They guide his feet up snow-drenched mountains, fling trees to block his enemies; they send magic rope, golden eagles and unbeatable swords his way, just in the nick of time. Ask them why they take such good care of him and you don’t get the usual answers. He’s handsome, of course, dripping with youthful enthusiasm. He’s got strength to die for. Sexy too. But it’s his heart they swear they love. So pure. Whatever he does, he believes in.

“I wasn’t always this way,” he confesses. “I was reckless, an egomaniac. Until I burnt my house down while playing with fire. I spent the whole night studying the flames. By morning, I had learned its language. Fire leaps up with love, you know; it has more secrets than a forest of trees. If you can draw it into your heart and contain it, you’ll achieve impossible things.”

With Aries, “self” and “doing” are everything. Aries wants you to do yourself as though you were a verb. Call him in with some positive narcissism. I did not know what this meant until I relinquished my dislike of Aries people. Zodiac aversions arise when, out of the countless people you find annoying, you discover two or three share the same sign. This entitles you to roll your eyes and look knowingly whenever that sign is mentioned—until, as a spiritual person, you learn that everyone you dislike is a reflection of yourself. You resolve to appreciate that sign’s virtues, but keep coming up with more reasons to dislike it. Then one day you stumble across the thing you can’t do, and you realize those fill-in-the-blank-zodiacpeople can do it without a second thought.

My mother is an Aries. A former boyfriend was an Aries. That co-worker I tangled with in 1991 was an Aries too. Despite their sunny, inspiring nature and boundless enthusiasm, I’ve found Aries people can be rough and reckless—Stanley Kowalski brutes to my faint-hearted Blanche DuBois. Their ruling planet Mars connects them to their passions, so they compete, strike, and leap without being braked by thought. I may say I’d like to do something for months, even years before I do it (if I do it). I like to think about my actions, have discussions with friends in town, imagine strategies, consider the consequences, fantasize the rewards. But Aries people will just go off and do it. They’ll even skip the conversations with friends. (This is what makes them chaotic and unpredictable.)

But then one year I called on Aries for help and something new got into me. I had a writing project that had been languishing for months. The next day Aries startled me out of bed and sent me into my office where I just started writing. I had no plan. I simply showed up at my computer and started doing. Four days later, I had the entire project designed. I was delighted, of course, but also amazed at the creativity that had been inside of me, waiting to come out. Ah, so that’s what it means to discover yourself through action—the Aries way!

Aries’ Response

Waiting for Aries to appear is the fun part. No way can I predict his entrance. But it will likely be full of passion and energy—so do be careful when driving, crossing streets, starting political discussions, or working with knives. Aries likes to sneak up on you and yell “Surprise!” So be on the lookout. You might find him in the garden bursting with new colors and growth. You might hear him in the treetops singing a joyful song. If a sexy red dress calls to you from that little shop around the corner, it could be Aries trying to get you to have a little more fun. He might strike as a sudden desire for “something more.” He might rise you up off the couch one day, ready to cut through boredom, fear, useless anger, self-doubt, or the self-image that no longer fits. You may be surprised at your new daring. Don’t worry if you know exactly where you’re going. Just go!

If you’d like to explore the archetypes in even greater depth, if you like to journal and/or muse on the positions of the Sun and Moon, you may enjoy my enrolling in my Twelve Moon workshop (by snail-mail or email). It’s designed to deepen your relationship with the guardians of natural time, the Sun, the Moon, the zodiac… and you!

© 2011 Dana Gerhardt
All rights reserved

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