About From Our Archives

MoonCircles has been publishing New and Full essays, meditations, and rituals twice each month since 2000. We hope you will enjoy this piece from our archives!

Gemini Meditation: Your Wisdom Voice

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Our spirit guide for Gemini’s New Moon journey is Mercury. This trickster god of small talk, idle speculation, and airy fantasies has another, deeper side. Known to the Greeks as Hermes, and to the Egyptians as Thoth, he is the god of wisdom, the inventor of writing and commerce, also the primary guide for travelers, including the dead who journey to the underworld. In the Tarot, he is pictured as the Magician. Mercury is the divine designer of alchemy, symbolized by his staff, the cadeucus, which transforms everything it touches into gold.

Mercury is also the son of the Moon, indicated by the crescent Moon atop his astrological glyph. His sacred task is taking us to the depths, so that we might return with a life-giving message of truth and wisdom. Soul talk, not small talk, is his real passion and that’s where he’ll lead you this month, should you care to follow.

To tune into the voice of wisdom at this Gemini New Moon, begin by filtering out the static that fills the air waves of our digital age. Imagine that you have returned to a time when the only sounds are those of nature-the wind blowing, water splashing, crickets chirping, and the deep solitude of a forest glen. Creating such a space is like stepping into a sunlit clearing in the midst of the overgrown forest of your life.

Hidden within this sacred chamber of nature, you find that your ability to hear grows keener. As you listen, scattered bird calls begin to sound like a musical arrangement. Rustling tree branches seem to be whispering words in your ear. The wind sighing sends signals that penetrate to your deepest layers. All of nature is like a holy being seeking to impart meaning. The universe, it seems, is trying to communicate with you.

Then, imagine that you hear a voice speaking directly to your soul. Like the voice who spoke to Job through the whirlwind, or the Greek oracle who, possessed by the spirit of Apollo, uttered parables of wisdom, the voice that speaks is the intelligence of the universe seeking to give you a message. You are the question; the voice is the answer. Whether in words, or an implicit sense of wordless knowing, this voice articulates truths to a question you have long pondered. Suddenly, you understand; understanding, your mind becomes transformed-clear as a light dawning, a sun rising.

As you sit within this chamber, continue to savor the wisdom imparted to you by the universe. Immerse yourself in the echoed reverberations emanating from the voice that has spoken. Like a precious keepsake, you vow to keep its imprint within your heart—a holy text to contemplate when life makes no sense or you are lost at a crossroads. Then, you will know to grow still and listen to the voice of wisdom that speaks both within and without to the listening ears of your soul.

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The Jinn Full Moon

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If the veil that divides the visible world from the realms of the invisible could be parted this Full Moon, what sight might greet us? Perhaps a bevy of swirling astral spirits known as “Jinns” said by Sufi mystics to govern the mental realm. Like the genie in the magic lantern in the Arabian tale, Jinns put strange thoughts and magical wishes into our heads. That sudden thought, that puckish idea, that brilliant insight–all the work of the lively Jinns.

During this Sagittarius Full Moon the Jinns are out in full force–having extra fun, no doubt, given that Mercury and Mars are still retrograde. If a Jinn has caught you, you may be brimming with ideas – lots of them, colliding and banging around in your head like so many crazy atoms, each one pulling you in a different direction. You may feel tired as your nervous system is overloaded from all the tantalizing possibilities, potentials, and enterprises the muse-like Jinns may be dangling before your entranced soul. Swept up by the exhilarating whirl like a teen at her first dance, you may feel ungrounded and disconnected from the slower rhythms of your physical body.

Containing your own creative fullness without spilling over into giddy chaos is a delicate art.  Each month, the Moon gives us a lesson in this very thing. She gradually builds from a slender crescent, then, at her peak, she empties out, beginning the creative cycle all over again. For artists, writers, spirit warriors, and entrepreneurs, the Moon in its full phase is nature’s example of equanimity and poise. A feminine holding of powerful energy. A living image of grace under pressure. A symbol of harmony and balance. The pregnant, peaceful Great Mother in the pause before birth.

How to handle the highly stimulating energy of this Full Moon? How to bear the inner chaos of rich creativity? For one thing, the ordinary activities of daily life–making the bed, folding the laundry, caring for children–can help to anchor the potent forces at play in the atmosphere. Working in the garden, walking in nature, or simply talking to a common-sense friend can help to keep your soul from being blown about by the winds of spirit.

The breath–the bridge between body and spirit–can also help. Here’s a practice that anchors into the breath using the three phases of the Moon as guides.  On your inhale, see in your mind’s eye the fresh crescent of the New Moon. See it grow with your inhaling count of four. Draw into your breath body all the excitement and energy generated by your creative projects desiring to come into form.

Then, as your imagined Moon reaches its fullness, contain your breath for seven counts, tuning into the pervasive stillness underneath the Full Moon . Practice holding the energy of peaceful equilibrium. Just as the Moon holds the light of the Sun, you are containing the Jinn-fueled energy of your solar spirit.

Exhale, allowing this Full Moon to wane, shedding its light, four counts. As you do this, let go of all your work, detaching yourself from any desired outcome, and consecrate your endeavors to the will of the gods and goddesses. Continue breathing this way until you feel transformed.

As the breath begins to work its magic, notice that both your mind and physical body are coming to a state of calm balance.  Like a tuning fork with perfect pitch, the rhythmic breathing crystallizes your being into a whole and elegant pattern of meaning.

This Full Moon, don’t allow your creative energy to dissipate into confusion and disorientation. Instead, learn to move in harmonious rhythm with the mischievous Jinns who are romancing your soul. Like a Sufi dervish, or the fully lit Moon who circles the earth, whirl round and round in cosmic harmony with these lively mental energies, becoming a still point at the center of the dancing universe.

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Taurus Meditation: A Spring Ritual of Sacrifice

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No zodiac sign is more grounded than Taurus. Yet its obvious “earthiness” obscures its more esoteric dimension. In the pre-Christian world, religious ceremonies often revolved around rituals of sacrifice. Bulls–the animal linked with Taurus–were commonly used in these ancient rites.  Consecrated to the Moon Goddess, the bull’s blood was sprinkled on stone altars and used in rituals of baptism and purification.

Few modern-day seekers would find meaning in the literal sacrifice of a living animal. But  its archetypal symbolism yields rich insights. Ceremonial sacrifice teaches that there is wisdom in giving something up in order to make room for the creative spirit of the new. It teaches that we cannot do or be all things at once.  This esoteric principle is fundamental to being “grounded”—the essence of Taurus. Paring down and stripping away limits us-but at the same time gives structure and shape to our free-form spirits.

Thus this Taurus new moon is a cosmically ordained time to create a ceremonial ritual of sacrifice. To begin your ritual, assess your life and determine what part of your inner character or outer life simply “needs to go.” Unlike banishing something unwanted, the ritual of sacrifice involves relinquishing something that is meaningful or important to us. You may find, for instance, that giving up your extroverted social life is necessary in order to bring forth some creative project. Or, it may be that you need to forswear your love of seclusion in order to allow a relationship to blossom. You may truly appreciate spending money on books, but need to sacrifice that in favor of an acupuncture treatment.  Making a sacrifice is a form of emotional ecology. By practicing principles of conservation in how we live our lives, we cultivate a healthier inner ecosystem.

After you have determined that part of your life that needs sacrificing, choose a spirit animal that symbolizes your choice. Our inner, human nature, the ancients realized, reflects the living realm of outer nature. A bird, for example, might stand for that part of you that loves getting together with friends. A  bull might signify the side of you that is assertive to the point of dominating the more sensitive, empathic side of yourself or others. A dove may embody the peace-loving part of you that prevents confrontation.  A cow may signify the part of you that is overly nurturing to the detriment of your professional life. A fox might symbolize your wily street smarts that has obscured the more innocent part of your soul.

Next, imagine that you are facing your spirit animal. Pay tribute to the creature before you, honoring its positive gifts. Then explain your reasons why it must leave and give voice to the new dimension it is being sacrificed for. After you have blessed your spirit animal, imagine that you have released it into freedom, whether through opening a gate, letting it fly into the air, or seeing it rejoin its wild peers. This may not be forever, but for a portion of time, until you are ready to welcome that part of your nature back into your life.

At first, you may feel grief at letting go of a cherished part of yourself. You may also feel touched by the love of the animal that has sacrificed itself for your sake. Gradually, however, you begin to feel the spacious opening that has been created through making this spirit sacrifice. There is room now within your soul for the birth of the new and the uprising of an  unexpected and unexplored part of yourself.  Finally, give thanks to the moon, give thanks to the realm of nature and all living creatures, and last, acknowledge the sacred principle of sacrifice and its usefulness in our everyday lives.

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 Dana’s 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!

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Aquarius Meditation: The Lightning Bolt

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The Aquarius New Moon is a cosmically ordered moment to shake loose the restrictions that limit us from fulfilling our potentials.  It is a time to set the world on fire, symbolically speaking — to take risks, rather than remain safe. Look to your individual astrological chart to the house with Uranus in it, or that is ruled by the sign of Aquarius, to see where the trickster god might be hurtling lightning bolts and overturning entrenched convictions. With Uranus, it is out with the old — and in with the new.

Channeling the lightning bolt of transformational energy.

In order to channel Uranus’ lightning-like energy in a way that creatively reconfigures, rather than negatively destroys, imagine yourself in a place where you have felt most stuck. Maybe you are limited by lack of financial resources; perhaps you are blocked in love. It might be that you are restricted by a job you have outgrown. Or, your creativity might be stifled by doubt, or your relationship with a loved one might be at a dead end. Whatever it is, picture that situation as a darkened room that you can’t see your way out of.

Now, imagine that this room is suddenly illuminated by a flash of lightning-crackling with energy, sizzling the airwaves with heat, this bolt from the skies lights up every corner and crevice. Suddenly, the narrow perspectives that have limited you are revealed.  Another crack of lightning, and doors, windows, and archways appear. Through the openings they provide you glimpse large rooms filled with beautiful and unusual furniture and art. Outside the open windows, endless vistas roll toward distant horizons.

Catapulted into a visionary landscape teeming with colors, shapes, and structures, your mind feels electrified with insight and clarity; you are flooded with creative ideas. Your whole body tingles with light; your very cells are luminous with awareness. What had been dark, now melts in the glow of understanding. New patterns and possibilities that you had never considered before emerge into the light of your newly expanded consciousness. Brilliant solutions to your problems arise.

As you sit in this state of awakened intelligence, savor the miracle of creation. Receive into your soul the magnetic life force permeating the universe. And wake up to your true, limitless nature as a divine creature of the infinite cosmos.

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Drink and Be Nourished by the Sky Mother

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In Greek mythology, the male sky god Ouranus, or Uranus, embraces Gaia, the feminine earth.  But in Egyptian mythology, the sky is a woman, Nut.  Her body is imaged as the starry firmament bent lovingly and protectively over earth; Nut’s legs and arms are steadied by four gods known as pillars of the sky—placing the masculine in a position of support to the feminine. Among her many divine names, Nut was called The Great Deep, The Starry One, Mother of the Sun, and Mystery of the Heavens.

If you have been in a winter cave of deep introspection as we approach this Full Moon, now is the time to bundle up and go outside. At sunset, lift your face toward the sky to receive inspiration.

Let this outward action be mirrored by an inner movement, as you turn your soul outward and upward toward the body of the Sky Goddess.  Like an open vessel, allow the light from the heavens to pour down upon your receptive spirit like a rain of stars.  Feel illuminated, awakened, and enlivened within and without.  You may even feel the neurons that light up your autonomous nervous system shimmering with electricity, transforming your physical body into a luminous starry cosmos.  This is the meaning of mystical transfiguration—the body transmuted into light.

One of Nut’s names was Cow Goddess, as the cow was one of several Egyptian concepts of the sky.  This suggests a beautiful perspective on the potent stellar energies swirling throughout the psychic atmosphere.  We can accept them as nurturing food from the Divine Mother  Absorb them, be strengthened by them, let them flow throughout you like warm milk.  Fed by the milk of the stars, sustained by this spiritual soul food, claim your inheritance as a child of the Mother of Heaven.

The Sun has recently entered the sign of Aquarius (on January 20). This is a future-thinking star-gazing sign—which is another good reason to let this Full Moon draw your attention to the sky. Renew your relationship with the extraterrestrial firmament of the planets, stars, and distant suns and galaxies. Root your soul in the visions of future worlds to come.  Inscribe the celestial instructions you have received into the very flesh of your body and the template of your soul. Then, go out into the  world and spread the message of a new age of light, hope, and peace.

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The Wisdom of Saturn

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It is the first New Moon of the New Year: A time of beginnings, of resetting one’s life clock to a new pattern.  Like the farmer in winter who sorts the seeds he will plant in spring, it is a propitious moment to set goals in order to better cultivate one’s patch of planet Earth.  For this New Moon in the Saturn-ruled, earth sign of Capricorn is the perfect moment to put into practice the deep wisdom inherent in the Hermetic axiom: As above, so below.  As within, so without. Cultivating our souls, we cultivate the soul of the world.

Astrologers don’t typically associate magic with the pragmatic sign of Capricorn. But no sign practices earth magic as deftly as Capricorn, who, through mastery of the secrets of time, yields forth the miracle of material manifestation.  The name Capricorn, for instance, means “horn of the goat.” Used as a symbol of the crescent moon in ancient myths and art, it came to signify the cornucopia or horn of plenty overflowing with the abundant fruits of the Great Goddess.

The key to understanding Capricorn lies in its planetary ruler, Saturn. I like to think of Saturn as the legendary Wizard of lore: Tall, old, grizzled, white-haired, with penetrating eyes that can see through to the core of life itself. Think Merlin, Gandalf, or Moira, the Greek Goddess of Fate. Saturn in this aspect as sage magician is skilled in the time wisdom of cycles, phases, endings, beginnings, ups, and downs.  How does Saturn do this?

Through patience—the quality that is learned as we mature from impulsive youthfulness to mature adult. Saturn is master of time because Saturn is master of patience: The wizardry of Capricornian magic is attained by standing outside time, eternally centered in the consciousness of what really matters—rather than being pulled off one’s path by the distractions of everyday life like restless mice in search of crumbs. Saturn succeeds where others fail because the old Wizard knows how to wait. Anyone who has endured a Saturn transit, for example, knows the hard lessons learned that come from enduring limitation, frustration, and delay: in other words, the discipline that comes from delayed gratification.

“In your patience is your wisdom,” goes an old alchemical saying.  “Haste is of the devil,” is yet another.  What otherworldly dreams we have the patience to wait and work for, we will one day see manifest in mundane reality. So this New Moon, take time to pay a visit to old Saturn’s cave for a lesson in the magic of time.

Imagine that you have drawn Saturn’s hooded mantle about yourself. Withdraw from the harried demands of your life into the depths of Capricornian solitude. Climb the mountain peak that lies shrouded in mists far above and beyond the affairs of humanity. Take refuge at the feet of the old Wizard whose eyes convey a knowledge far beyond your own. Go deep into the Goddess’ wisdom that says that all things that are born, must die, and will be reborn once again. The sun that rises, also sets. The dark moon empties, then waxes bright and full. The tide that rises falls back into the waiting arms of the sea.

In the cave with Saturn, gather your seeds—your ideals, goals, hopes, dreams, and fantasies for the future.  Design the garden of your life: what flowers will bloom, what trees will grow? Commit yourself to their cultivation, despite the vagaries of good or bad weather. Then, gifted with Saturn’s staff of patience, steadiness, and discipline, climb down from the mountain and go back out into the world: Mistress of magic and the secrets of time.

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Winter Solstice Meditation

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The Sun steps slowly into Capricorn at Winter Solstice. On December 21 it stands still before turning North on the horizon. Light, hope, and joy are its themes–it is often imaged as rays of sunlight piercing winter’s darkness. The spiritual message of this day is universal: do not despair; something wondrous and new will emerge from any suffering you may have endured this year.  It is a time of beginning.  The best meditation on this day might be the simplest–wait for the Sun to find you. Notice how it illuminates your world and give thanks.

THE HORN OF PLENTY

According to tradition, Capricorn means “the horn of the goat.” Mythic legend has it that it was the sturdy mountain goat Amalthea who nursed the infant Zeus. When he accidentally broke off her horn, he vowed to fill it with whatever fruits she desired. As king of the gods, he placed her horn-the Cornucopia-in the skies as a symbol of abundance and wealth. The priestesses of ancient Greece revered the goat as an animal sacred to the Great Goddess for its life-giving milk; the graceful curve of the goat’s horns became revered as an image of the crescent moon.

To draw upon the power of the Great Goddess as nurturing gift-giver, you may wish to dedicate this Solstice to the practice of mindful generosity. If you’re feeling inwardly drained from the exhaustive preparations that so often turn this holiday season into a time of horror, take a few moments to fill your heart with spiritual bounty: light a candle to bless the coming longer days, which are decreasing, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. Either way, let the Sun illuminate your internal skies with hope. In silence, savor the cosmic mysteries within the temple of your heart.

Picture your inner Sun as a horn of plenty brimming with abundance. Gifts of love, hope, faith, food, money, clothing, warmth, health, laughter, trust, beauty, security, shelter, and friendship spill out in profusion. You may even wish to picture these as material symbols: a house, a coat, dollar bills, a loving hug from a close friend, a
roast turkey, a gorgeous green salad, a bottle of wine, gaily wrapped gifts, a house full of family and friends.

Then, imagine that these material gifts transform into richness of emotion and spiritual wealth: the horn of plenty in your heart fills with the loving kindness embodied by the spiritual avatar of your choice, See as it streams outward, filling the needs of those loved ones around you. From deep within, you find the courage to bolster those who are afraid; to provide companionship to the lonely; healing to the ill; sustenance to the poor; hope to those in despair; inspiration to the bored; and joy to the sad and suffering.

Like an anchor amid the bustle and rush of the holiday, you may wish to return to this image on Solstice day and throughout this season, experiencing the warmth in your heart as an outpouring of divine abundance, prosperity, and well-being.

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Following Your Truth Star

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Sagittarius, sign of the philosopher and truth-seeker, is known as the sign of the happy wanderer. No Sagittarius is as happy as when setting off down a highway to new adventure, either literally or figuratively. Some Sagittarians travel the world. Others rove the inner planes of the spiritual world. Still others restlessly seek out the mind-expanding vistas of various belief systems, becoming scholars, writers, teachers, ministers, or publishers.

At heart, individuals born with a prominent ninth house or planets in Sag are free souls. Like the Sufi dervishes of old who dressed in rags yet whose nobility of spirit caused them to radiate the power of kings, the freedom that comes with the realization of spiritual truth can make kings and queens of us all.

So at this Sagittarius New Moon, take a few minutes to bless this quality of freedom in your life. Look to the house in your natal chart ruled by Sagittarius and imagine the new adventure about to unfold in this arena. Even if you feel stuck and think you are “going nowhere” your soul has journeyed a long way to incarnate on this planet in space. Let go of whomever or whatever it is you are trying to control, and let God—and/or the Goddess—guide your way. Release yourself from that which restricts you from being free to live the life you’re meant to live.

Like the heavenly star the wise men followed to the Christ child, so, too, can the Star of Truth guide you on your own journey. As all true teachers teach, the truth we seek is hidden within our own hearts—the buried treasure found right in our own back yard. To connect to the Star of Truth within your own heart, begin by centering within a deep, quiet, true, place inside yourself.

Concentrate on going deeper, deeper, deeper, as if you are descending down stairs to the basement of your psyche. Suddenly, at the bottom of these stairs, a trap door opens upon a vast universe. There, against the backdrop of a midnight-blue sky, shines a brilliant star—it is a revelation, a five-pointed blaze of diamond. It is clear illumination. Allow yourself to bask in its light; feel the very cells of your physical body penetrated by its wisdom. Absorb its truth into the center of your being.

Then, begin the journey back up the stairs that lead from the depths of yourself to the upper world of your everyday life. For a few moments, sit quietly, concentrating on this Star of Truth as it continues to illuminate your heart center. Give thanks to your personal “north star”—the permanent pole of truth that guides you and that provides a source of limitless wisdom and knowledge.

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The Sun entered Sagittarius on November 22

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About a month before Christmas, the Sun enters the fire sign of Sagittarius, signaling the start of the holiday season. The lively crackle of conversation; the warm humor and expansive goodwill; the generous giving of gifts: these are among the qualities of Sagittarius. Yet like the sparkly wrapping that conceals a precious gift, the real treasure at the heart of this outgoing sign is its devotion to truth.  Ruled by Jupiter, the ever-roving ruler of Olympus, those born under the sign of Sagittarius are, as the poet Yeats wrote, “pilgrim souls”—lifelong seekers in pursuit of the priceless pearl of eternal wisdom. Thus it is that time of year to follow in the footsteps of the wise men and embark upon your own pilgrimage, guided by the star of truth that shines the way forward.

The mystical traditions of the world teach that life is a journey—a passage to a mysterious destination. The ancient Sufis pictured the journey of life as a caravan of seekers content to live lightly on the earth, storing up instead the treasures of the soul. “God’s creation is vast—why do you sit all day in a tiny prison?” wrote Rumi, “Go beyond your little world and find the grandeur of God’s world.” From the practical CEO to the responsible parent, within each of us, there is also a happy wanderer, a pilgrim soul in search of truth.

The month when the Sun is in Sag, it’s wise to connect with your inner pilgrim. When you do this with your imagination, your psyche receives it as real. Picture yourself shedding your everyday clothes and, along with them, the outer persona that you rely upon to interact with the world. Stripped of all pretense and guise, imagine next that you don a pilgrim’s robe—plain, sturdy, and hooded to symbolize your freedom from the strictures of individual identity.  Released from the cares and responsibilities of your daily life, a feeling of unbounded possibility descends; you feel gripped by a state of readiness. Departure on the trip of a lifetime is imminent.

Then, imagine that a call comes.  It could be the sound of a bell ringing in gentle overtones, the tinkle of camel bells signaling the arrival of a caravan of Sufi dervishes, the echo of a summons to join a band of wandering monks and nuns. Next, imagine following this sound and joining up with a band of like-minded pilgrims. Together, you are setting forth on a journey with no end and a path with no destination.

Taking up your staff, and girding up your robe, place your foot on the trackless road that opens wide before you. As you do this, a feeling of expansive freedom suddenly envelops you. Everywhere you look—to your right and to your left, behind you and before you—stretches an open horizon. As free as air, a happy wanderer, you traverse the cities and towns, mountains and meadows, of the wide, wide world, encountering fellow seekers and drinking in wisdom from earth’s sacred places.

After spending some time on this visionary quest, imagine that suddenly, you find yourself arriving at the place from which you first began. Taking off your robe and folding it as a keepsake talisman, you step back into your old identity and resume once again the challenges of the everyday circumstances you left behind. As the imagery of your spiritual pilgrimage fades, however, something lasting remains – an expansive, unfettered state-of-consciousness. Those situations that once seemed to restrict you, now appear altered when viewed through the new, broader perspective you bring to them. For though you may assume once again your former roles and responsibilities, there now dances within your heart the laughing soul of a pilgrim, for whom life is an endless, delightful journey toward God. The only proof that this is so, is the smile that lingers on your face.

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Libra New Moon Meditation

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This New Moon the Sun and Moon are joined in the air sign of Libra. Thus this lunar cycle is a time to initiate one’s soul into Libran concerns; namely, beauty and loving each other with ever greater grace and skill. Though it might at first seem like beauty and relationship are separate qualities, anyone who has studied Librans in action has seen how naturally these “diplomats of the zodiac” are able to skillfully balance their needs with those of “the other.” It is this rare ability to create harmony out of the jangled notes of a fractious world that is a source of true and lasting beauty—and a sure sign of “Libra magic” at work.  One of the best ways to unite both qualities in your heart, is to tune into Aphrodite, the ruling goddess of Libra.

Aphrodite, the Spirit of Beauty

In a mythic twist of fate, the goddess of beauty was born of both tragedy and poetry, emerging, the story goes, from the seafoam of Uranus’ severed genitals. Swept ashore at dawn’s rosy light on the island of Cyprus, Aphrodite, as she was called, was greeted by the three dancing Graces – Brilliance, Flower-Bringer, and Heart’s Joy – who adorned her in jewels, placed her in a golden chariot drawn by white doves and took her to Mt. Olympus. So dazzling was her beauty, that Zeus immediately married her to the crippled craftsman Hephaestus in order to prevent jealous competition for her hand among the gods. It was Hephaestus, the goldsmith, who wove the fabled golden “girdle of Aphrodite,” the source of her bewitching magic to stir love and desire in all who beheld her. Among Aphrodite’s symbols are the white dove and the pearl, both images of her pure spirit and the precious, hidden treasure of feminine beauty.

Where can Aphrodite be found today? However crude or commercial, the love-goddess’s skill at artifice is on full display in Hollywood: at award ceremonies, audiences around the world thrill to the ritual procession of enchantingly bejewelled celebrities as they promenade down the red carpet. Hollywood hypnotizes because it provides that frisson of frivolous charm so utterly lacking in our utilitarian culture. But beauty, of course, is far more than physical perfection or ornate decoration. It is a spiritual organ of perception—not just how we look, but what we perceive in others and the world around us. It is the dimple in a child’s winning smile; a spring garden scented with lilacs; the honey from a bee; a painting, poem, or piece of music whose exquisite perfection stirs the heart. Awakening to the beauty around us, we become beauty ourselves. As the myths instruct, we ignore Aphrodite at our peril, for without beauty our souls become hard and dry, closed to the radiant miracle of creation.

Meditation:
One way to cultivate the spirit of beauty is to reimagine the birth of Aphrodite within your heart. Begin your meditation by creating an atmosphere of beauty that will attract her presence. You may, for instance, begin your New Moon meditation by adorning your altar with some flowers, as well as photos of loved ones; you may also want to play a piece of music that, to your ears, is serenely peaceful. Allow the music to pierce the shell of your heart, then let that rhythmic feeling fill the center within you, as the waves within the ocean. Next, imagine that this ocean of feeling has given rise to an emotion of sublime beauty: this is Aphrodite, emerging from the depths of your heart. She is the essence of beauty, the perfume of loveliness, the embodiment of grace and joy. She is all lithesome light and laughter. Bathe in her being, as she herself ritually bathes in the ocean once each year to restore her sense of wholeness. Feel wholly beautiful, inside and out.

After immersing yourself in the being of Aphrodite, open your eyes and survey the environment around you. Practice seeing the world through her eyes, rather than your own narrow vision. As you do, life appears transfigured, lit from within: the flowers on your altar radiate color; the photos of your loved ones reveal an inner dimension of soulful depth that you had never experienced before; the window opening to the sky outside is a vision of glory. THIS is the precious pearl that is the gift of Aphrodite – the vision of beauty animating all creation.

As your meditation comes to a close, make an offering of thanks appropriate to the goddess of beauty – a dance, a smile, or a graceful gesture. To continually renew the spirit of beauty in your life throughout the month, choose an article of loveliness – a scarf, a scent, a flower, or a treasured object  – to use as a talisman to re-invoke the goddess in your heart. Or, you may want to initiate a daily “beauty ritual” in honor of Aphrodite, such as taking a scented bubble bath, tending an exquisite flower, or complimenting a new person each day on something nice you have noticed about about them.

You can deepen your experience of Aphrodite by connecting more deeply with the Venus in your natal horoscope. What sign is she in? Which house? The answers will help to validate what you already know you need to be really happy. But it’s nice to hear the heavens agree.  For more, check out Dana’s Your Venus Unleashed report.

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