This is the miracle–
Every tree becomes beautiful
When touched by sunlight;
Every soul becomes God
When touched by the Sun of Tabriz — Rumi 1
In this month’s playbook for my monthly Moon workshop, I offered my students three simple new moon practices–each of which they could profitably commit to performing at every new moon for a year. There’s an indescribable value to repetition when working with the Moon–that’s her primary art, the ability to go round and round, yet each time it’s different.
When we commit to performing the same practice again and again, it only becomes boring IF we become boring! Yet if we approach our commitment with curiosity, attention, and sacred delight each time, we’ll be rewarded in profound and surprising ways. As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the best ways to get out of your head–and into an authentic, embodied experience of the Moon.
One of my 3 suggested practices was to simply make an offering each month to the planet who rules that New Moon. And by planet, of course, I don’t mean the astronomical body. I mean the deity–the archetypal body–the energetic force–who is alive and immortal through us!
This month’s New Moon takes place in gold-hearted Leo, whose ruler is the Sun. Astrologers typically describe Leo as extroverted, playful, and creative. Yet perhaps because Leo is placed in the 12th house of my own natal chart, I find meaning in its deeper side, experiencing it as a kind of inner “pilot light.” It’s the spiritual light-force that powers our creativity, vitality, and faith. What an awesome energy–it’s hard to approach! It’s easier to go through our days on automatic pilot, listening to the same thoughts revolving in our head. To give our genuine attention to a celestial body, that’s a radical act. To do this regularly changes a person. It rearranges the inner and outer worlds.
Fundamentally the Sun represents the spiritual force of Light. Mystics across the centuries have spoken of this light as a doorway to the realms of spirit. The Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat speaks of the Sun as a great Archangelic Being. Ancient Sufis spoke of the “Midnight Sun” as a what it feels like to have a genuine soul encounter with the Divine. “Sun of the mystery,” “Sun of the heart, “Sun of the spirit”—these are among the invocations used by the 13th-century Sufi Najm Kobra (2) in his teachings on Light. It’s a vital energy that runs through you whether you notice it or not. But oh … if you start noticing, the Sun will respond.
How can you experience this Divine Light that is your original nature? To begin with, it’s nice to start with the light you see all around you. Find a place to meditate outside, or position yourself near a window. Soak in the sunlight that shimmers through the air and lovingly caresses the trees and plants.
Feel yourself warmed by the Sun’s rays; allow your body to be filled with its vital, life-giving magnetism. Close your eyes and, as you inhale and exhale, breathe in sunlight until your whole body is vibrant with light. Feel your aura radiate. Let your consciousness expand into space. Be awed by the fiery plumes of light exploding from the Sun’s corona. Spin with the planets as they encircle it’s mother star.
Next, imagine that your whole psyche is being bathed in a shower of light. Allow every dark corner of yourself to be lit up; experience the Sun’s kindness as it generously melts away your fear, shame and guilt. The Sun is the ultimate lover: all your hard, unforgiving edges melt away in its broad, beneficent, light-giving Being.
Slowly, as you feel more and more filled with light, you may feel as if you have returned to a place that feels familiar. For as it is taught in many wisdom traditions, your true self is a ray of light descended from the Sun of Suns, the Divine source. During the course of your journey on earth, however, the core of light within you became veiled, eclipsed by the darkness of forgetfulness and ignorance. Now, experience the joy and love that comes from reconnecting with your genuine heritage as a being of light.
Finally, close your meditation by experiencing the light coalesce into a solar disc within the inner chamber of your heart. Recall, for instance, images of saints and prophets whose hearts were aflame with love of God, light streaming from this divine center through their fingertips, illuminating their faces, shooting out the top of their head in aureoles of luminescence. It is the power of their faith that burns so brightly; it is knowledge of their true origins that generates their soft glow. So remember, when life is hard, and the embers of faith burn low, that your heart, too, is a Sun, a “light upon light” whose home is in the stars.
Enjoy imagination and support with Dana’s monthly Moon workshop and Mooncircles’ fabulous astrology reports. If these times are especially crazy for you, check out your transits and progressions in the wonderful Skylog report. Got a birthday coming up? Be sure to order your Solar Return!