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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!

Earth and Water Make Clay: Capricorn Full Moon Ritual

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On this Full Moon, the Moon is in the earth sign of Capricorn, opposite the Sun in the water sign Cancer.  Their gift to us lies in the interplay of the elements: earth mixed with water makes clay.  As told in ancient creation myths, the stirring together of elements resulted in the earth and all its creatures.  In the same way, by mixing these two elements together in a sacred way, we can work magic to invoke the spirit of creativity and art into our lives.  Just as, down through the centuries, the skilled potters, builders, and sculptors worked with the soft dough of clay to produce beautiful bowls and urns, adobe homes, and great works of sculpture.

PREPARATION

Before beginning your Full Moon ritual, prepare a small container of water, a small container of earth, and an empty bowl.  Bring them to a quiet place where you can protect yourself from distractions or interruptions.  Ideal would be a spot outdoors in nature, a secluded garden beneath a tree, a tranquil patio, somewhere that allows you a good view of the eastern horizon, where the Moon will rise just after sundown.  You may wish to light candles and incense, or recite a prayer or sacred phrase from your particular tradition to calm your spirit.  Watching the breath – inhaling in, exhaling out – further deepens the energy.

RAISING THE ENERGY

The Full Moon is a time of heightened sensitivity for all above-ground beings.  Gradually open yourself to the vibrations around you.  Pay particular attention to the natural environment. (Even if you’re inside, you can still call to mind the trees, streams, breezes, plants and flowers of the elemental kingdom.)  Breathing calmly, with awareness, watch for (or imagine) the Moon’s rise.  As she lifts above the horizon, experience the sky lit with Moon beams, pouring down like blessings on Earth where you sit.  Sense the moonlight entering you with each in-breath.  With each out-breath, feel her silvery blue light coursing through your body.   As you bask in the Moon’s presence, feel your body bathed, inside and outside, with the soft rays of healing moonlight.  Experience everything around you lit up in a lovely incandescence.

THE HEART OF THE RITUAL

Now think of the work you have been given to accomplish in life:  whether it is your work as a parent, a businessperson, a writer, a therapist, or a musician.  Next, place some of the dirt in the moonlit palm of your left hand, while honoring the earth element of Capricorn.  Think of hills, fields, and meadows; and their evolution through human culture as roads, abodes, and towns.  Now sprinkle a few drops of water into your right hand, honoring the water element in Cancer.  Think of the oceans, rivers, and streams; and their manifestation in human culture as the flow of emotion, the blessings of nurture and compassion.  Mix the two together and hold your hands up to the moonlight.  Ask that the creative spirit of this Sun/Moon cycle be breathed into your craft, bringing form and substance out of your
efforts.

CLOSING THE RITUAL

Cupping your two palms together in a gesture of prayer, bow in thanks to the Moon.  Bow again in expression of gratitude for your own participation.  Finally, bow in blessing to your loved ones, and to the world around you.  Pour the remaining dirt in the bowl.  Holding your hands over the bowl, rinse your hands with the remaining water, also pouring it into the bowl.Bring this bowl to your altar or to a special place in your home or office, where its presence will have a calming effect, and remind you of the creative spirit at work within you.  Sometime before the next New Moon, when it feels right to do so, return your sacred clay to the earth.

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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 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 is 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 Ceremonial 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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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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Meet your Inner Pilgrim

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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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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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Connecting with your Spirit Guide

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The Scorpio New Moon Eclipse arrives a week before the cross-quarter holiday honoring the dead and the dearth of the winter to come. From October 31 through November 7 (when the Sun reaches the middle degree of Scorpio), Northern Hemisphere cultures have variously marked this midpoint between fall and winter. Christians call it All Soul’s Day; for children, it’s Halloween; for pagans, it’s Samhain (pronounced “sow-wane”).

With Pluto–the planet of death and rebirth–as its modern ruler, Scorpio guides our relationship with the “other side”—the invisible realms hidden from ordinary view. The soul’s journey through this sign is like a trip down into the underworld and up into a new, more evolved way of being—a passage symbolized by the mythical Phoenix. No person, however, is ever asked to undertake this passage alone. Each of us is accompanied by our personal spirit guide. Because tradition holds that this is the time of year when the veil between this world and the next thins, the Scorpio New Moon is a propitious time to reconnect with your spirit guide.

Every soul is granted one or more invisible guardians to attend its journey through life on earth—an angel, daimon, spirit animal, or saint. Socrates had his daimon, who whispered wisdom in his ear; the oracle of Delphi gleaned the future from a powerful serpent; Native Americans were guided by animal spirits; and in all traditions angels have hovered nearby humans. Even nature spirits are said to watch over mountains, trees, lakes, and streams.

To connect to your spirit guide, begin your meditation by sitting in a safe and special place, perhaps before your altar. Light a candle or stick of incense to signal your intentions to enter the otherworld. Next imagine a circle of protection surrounding you. Feel how it keeps you safe from harm and separates you from the concerns of the everyday world. Next, using the sincerity of your own words, say a prayer or invocation that gently summons the presence of your spirit guide—even if you have no image of who that might be. For a few minutes, simply sit in the silence; as the quiet deepens, imagine that the veil between this world and the world of the Invisibles has parted. Like a guest arriving, imagine next that an invisible, beneficent presence has entered the room and is lighting up the space around you. Something about this presence touches your heart, communicating with you in a wordless, yet deeply knowing, way.

After steeping yourself in the aura of this formless presence, begin to imagine that a real being is taking shape before you. Seeing with your inner eye, and feeling with your heart, intuit the specific identity of your guide: he, or she, may be a familiar figure, such as a beloved prophet, wise priestess, powerful shaman, Sufi dervish, or mythic god or goddess. Or, your spirit guide may appear in the guise of a being you have never seen before – resplendent with luminosity, or as an ordinary, humble individual. Watch that your conscious mind doesn’t step in to criticize your imaginative faculty: whatever you see, simply allow it to be.

Once you have a clear image of your spirit guide, imagine next that this being takes your hand in hers (or his) and, smiling deeply into your eyes, imparts to you the knowledge that you will never be abandoned or alone—no matter how difficult the tragedy or hardship you may endure. In addition, your spirit guide imparts wisdom to you that answers your heart’s deepest question. After a few minutes in this sweet communion, release your hands from your spirit guide’s and, together, bow in farewell. As your spirit guide melts back into the realm of the Invisibles, close your meditation with a prayer of thanks for the loving support given to you by the divine.

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Equinox: The Quiet Power of the Scales

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It’s Equinox! When the Sun enters Libra, day and night are in equal measure.  But this special balance soon will tip, with night growing in the Northern Hemisphere and shortening in the Southern. But at this moment, on this day, for these weeks, we are encouraged to bring ourselves into balance too. This is one way to keep our lives beautiful.  Libra is the peacemaker, the graceful aerialist, the mediator, the angel of “Let’s make this beautiful.” and “Let’s find our common ground.” Her action always brings new harmony. What a great reminder as we enter a new season!

Astrology conveys the essence of each sign with its image. For Libra, that’s the scales. Of Chaldean origin, the scales are linked to matters of fate, guilt, and punishment. Indeed in ancient myths the scales are pictured at the critical juncture between life and death, just as the soul is about to pass into the next realm. In ancient Egypt, the soul was measured against the weight of a feather. In the Persian tradition, the angel Rashu weighed souls at the Bridge of Fate, while in the Christian faith St. Michael, Archangel of the Day of Judgment, is pictured with a set of scales. And in ancient Greece, the goddess Themis, the embodiment of law, was represented with scales.

Spiritually the scales represent the process of weighing and measuring our thoughts and actions against universal ideals of truth. As these ancient images teach us, we can’t move forward until we’ve examined our intentions and come to terms with our past. To accept the scales as your guide means to take responsibility for your experiences. Accept that your health and happiness are supported by your choices. And choose a lifestyle that includes equal portions of work and pleasure, exercise and rest, a balanced diet, intellectual stimulation, and positive social interactions.

One way to celebrate the Equinox is with the following meditation: Go to a beautiful spot and imagine you are seated in the cosmic Temple of Balance.  Contemplate the image of the scales, entering deeply into the living meaning of this symbol.  Center yourself at the all-important fulcrum that holds the scales.  In this place, carefully weigh and measure your feelings.  Examine your actions, past and present.  Consider what new experiences you’d like to have. Imagine that your body is a focal point of stillness and strength.  Enjoy this feeling for as long as you need to. Close your meditation by saluting the equal hours of night and day, and resolve to enter them both with equanimity.

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