I originally wrote this post in early 2020 as we were getting used to the realities of the pandemic … of course, since then, world grief has continued to rise. After events here in the US this past week, I thought it was appropriate to post this again.
You don’t need to be a sensitive to notice that world grief is rising. Along with the great collective sorrow of having lost the world we once knew, there’s the growing flood of so much individual pain. All the precious lives and livelihoods lost. Experts tell us things will likely get worse.
If you’re a sensitive, you need a strategy. Not just because emotions like viruses are contagious and you should protect yourself. More to the point—this is why you’re here. The world needs its sensitives now—for the same reason it’s needed Moon devotees throughout the millennia—to bring compassion, wisdom and balance to an out-of-bounds world.
This was the work of the High Priestess and her crew in the great Moon temples of ancient Mesopotamia. They maintained the harmony between humanity and heaven. Then it was understood that the gods can move inside us as strong emotion. Widespread human suffering was seen as the overflowing feelings of some god.
If the Moon was troubled, the Moon priestess would open her heart to move the energy–what today we might call “processing our feelings.” The priestess was prepared and taught. We were not. Luckily for us, this intelligence is still coded in the body.
Following are the 5 most important rules my body has taught me along the way. These aren’t ideas. The body has no interest in theories. Each is a practical skill. You’ll know immediately whether or not it works for you by how you feel inside.
Let my body’s 5 Rules become a checklist—to hold you through those moments when you’re triggered into awareness of the collective grief. This is your priestess opportunity–watching the death numbers rise, seeing another “going out of business” sign, hearing about strangers far away, who’ve just lost their mother, their father, their daughter, their son.
Rule 1: Work from the universal heart, not the personal one.
This is an altered state. Knowing how to enter it is perhaps the most important skill. With practice you can slip into it as easily as snapping your fingers. You don’t have to hunt for the universal heart on a cloud somewhere far away. It’s hardwired inside you. It is the nest in which all personal hearts are resting.
To drop in, sink your mind below the neck and start breathing into your heart. Letting thoughts go, notice how the area around your heart expands and contracts with your breath. With your inner eyes, look down at your heart, gently watching as you breathe. Your heartbeat may become more vivid.
When your mind is quietly tucked inside the Great Mama’s nest, your body and mood will shift. You’ll feel more comfortable, safe, and calm. From this space, observe whatever it was that triggered you. Let the Mother’s compassion for this scene arise and flow. There may be other emotions too. But let your empathy and compassion be the lighthouse that keeps guiding you away from any rocks. Keep breathing.
This is all you need to do. Openly, fullheartedly, tune into the nectar of your emotions. In this way, you become one of the many arms of the Great Goddess in this world. Don’t worry about how or where your compassion is going; the Great Mother takes care of that.
Signs that you’ve fallen into your personal heart: you stop breathing; you have an agenda—you want to fix or change something; you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, or victimized.
Rule 2: Meet emotion as sensation not story.
People often say they’re moving through their grief—like it’s a long slog through a grim town. Like it’s an unwelcome duty. Which is backwards. We don’t move through our grief. Grief moves through us. It’s an intelligence, as are all the emotions. Each has a divine purpose—something the usual human reactions to feelings obscure.
Sorrow, for example, melts our attachments to what’s no longer true, so that we can open ourselves again to the beauty of life around us. The flow of sorrow is a sacred river that washes through us. It cleanses us. It heals us.
Just as we learned to breathe into the universal heart, we learn to submit to the intelligence of our feelings by breathing into them. We watch them move without judgment or stories (like “I can’t handle this” … “My life is over” … “He’s gone and I can’t go on” … “I’m lost.”)
Strip thoughts away from your feelings and you meet raw energy. Each pattern runs a little differently. You can perceive its presence in the body as a psychic shape, maybe in the stomach, or behind the eyes, or everywhere at once. Perhaps it has a color. Likely it has a density. Is it viscous; thick and slow? Or is it light and jittery?
Just keep breathing and watching without thinking—that’s all you need to do. The intelligence of the emotion will do the rest. The Great Mother knows where in the world the gifts of your psychic tending are needed. If there are tears, let them flow. Just be the vessel. The water rinsing through your eyes is a tincture from a sacred vial.
Rule 3: Be like a screen door in a hurricane.
There are good cries and bad cries. After a good cry your skin is relaxed and radiant. You feel lighter, unburdened. After a bad cry, your face is pinched, your eyes are leaden, your skin is red. After a bad cry, the load you drag around feels heavier.
What’s the critical difference? With bad cries we’re caught in resistance and clinging. With good cries, we’ve surrendered. We turn ourselves over to powers greater than our self. We stop trying to control things.
Imagine you’re a solid oak front door–to a house caught in a hurricane. Feel the pressure of its fierce winds blowing against you like a great weight. After hours of this, you can’t keep it back anymore. You’re flung open, to now flip back and forth for what seems like an eternity. This is how it goes when we resist the truth—or when we cling to what’s gone.
A Scorpio energy master once taught me, “When bad energies come rushing at you, be like a screen door in a hurricane.” Imagine this. You’ve gone from solid oak to being this refined mesh barrier. Now the wind blows through you. You can hold your position without stress. Your bolts are steady. You’re not flapping back and forth.
What’s the difference between doors and screens? Screens are less resistant. Their holes let the wind pass right on through. Like the screen, you make space for what’s happening, yet you’re still intact. You have a boundary. If you don’t block what’s coming at you, its own momentum will carry it through you and away.
If you’re a sensitive, this is a nifty skill to use in any energetically toxic environment.
Rule 4: Respect your needs for self-protection and rest.
This is the central Moon teaching. Daily the Sun rises and burns with the same heat and intensity. The Sun is that part of your psyche that expects to be “on” all day long. It has places to go, things to do, bright victories to achieve.
The Moon waxes and wanes. At times she arrives in the morning. At times she’s overhead at midnight. Other times at high noon. Sometimes she’s fully lit. Sometimes she’s dark. But always somewhere in between. She has a cycle. A natural rhythm. And so do we.
Trust your body–not your mind–to tell you when you need to retreat and take care of yourself. If you’re paying attention, you notice, some days you’re just more vulnerable than others. Or tired. There isn’t always a reason. You just need to listen, not figure it out. It’s time to let the world take care of itself so you can take care of you.
A daily meditation habit improves all energy skills. It slows you down and brings you into the moment. You get better at paying attention. Over time it helps to refine your sensing of subtle energies. All of this makes it easier to take good care of the Goddess Moon inside you.
Rule 5: Nourish yourself with celebration and beauty.
Too much of anything—even a Great Goddess—is too much. For overall happiness and well-being, nature gave us three essential archetypes. The three brightest lights in the ancient sky–the Sun, Moon, and Venus–were our first blueprints for divinity, around which the human psyche organized itself. To be a happy person, these three gods need to be regularly worshiped–or nourished–inside you.
The Sun is your most important source of energy. Without him there’s no life. No vitality, no enthusiasm, no hope. To be inwardly sunny, you need praise. You need celebration. People know this. This too is hardwired. Which is why around the world, in hospitals stressed to the breaking point, health care workers line the corridors to clap, dance, and sing in celebration of each recovered patient, who gets to leave, alive.
Around the world, along urban streets during lock-down, people routinely gathered at their windows to cheer the doctors, nurses, EMTs and service staff, on the front lines, sacrificing their safety for strangers in need. Appreciation and celebration. These fuel our spirit, which is important in trying times.
The Venus gift is beauty. What practical use is that? I’ll return to where I began. There is nothing theoretical about anything I’m sharing. It’s true scientists have discovered that walks in nature change our biochemistry. Just looking at photos of nature can do this. The Japanese have perfected a restorative practice known as “Forest Bathing.” Luckily you don’t need to wait for that rare moment when you can walk freely through a beautiful landscape. Just spend five minutes with the simple structure of a dandelion. Or a photo of a dandelion. That’s all you need.
There is beauty everywhere. Just slow down, breathe, and take in what the most readily available ray of beauty can bring to your mind and heart.
With these three powers–Sun, Moon and Venus–regularly nourished inside you, no matter how bad things get, you’ll always feel blessed. Which is important in times like these. Especially if you’re called to work as a priestess in the Temple of the Moon.
If you’re a Moon priestess without a temple, you’ll welcome the support and inspiration of my monthly Moon Workshop. Our focus for the Gemini New Moon is magic, using mind, hands and breath. Enroll here!