Friday, 17 April 2015

The Aries, Willow and Dragon New Moon: Beautiful Possibilities

The New Moon in Aries is also the Dragon New Moon in Chinese Astrology and the Willow Tree/Sea Serpent New Moon in Celtic Astrology. The New moon is exact at 18:56:48 GMT/UT on Saturday 18th April, 2015.

The New Moon is a potent time to set intentions, or make a wish, as it is the beginning of the Lunar Cycle, when seeds of the new are sewn. Tomorrow’s New Moon in Aries is the first New Moon since the Vernal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere) and for some it marks the true beginning of Western Astrology’s Solar Year.

“The Vernal Equinox symbolizes the birth of the Fire element. Fire is the first element we encounter on the Tropical Zodiac. Fire is the principle of action. Fire, like Spring, is the spirit of out-rushing energy which charges into the cosmos, obliterating all that stands in its way…Aries is Cardinal Fire…Cardinal refers to birth, the beginning of a cycle. It is the principle of initiation where something arises out of nothing. Cardinality is the creative urge that allows new life to manifest itself into a universe that may already be stable and closed…Cardinal energy reinforces what Fire represents…Aries is the will to exist, the life-force. First there is nothing (Winter). Then there is something (Spring). Out of seemingly nowhere, life bursts forth, claiming its place. “
(Quote from a recent Astrology article I wrote for It’s All Well+Good Magazine. Click HERE to read the rest of the article.)

“Aries teaches courage. It represents the ability of the will to triumph over any intimidation, any obstacle, any doubt.” (“Inner Sky” by Steven Forrest)

The Aries New Moon is a potent time to plant seeds that break new ground. Aries-themed wishes include wishes around new beginnings, authenticity, self-focus, self-discovery, disengaging from patterns of self-absorption, innocence, courage and independence. Aries rules the brain, head, face, sinus and blood, in terms of blood energy. Aries is ruled by Mars. Mars rules inflammation. Any wishes for health in these areas will be supported by the Aries New Moon.

Just a little Medical Astrology link and Aries New Moon wish suggestion for anybody experiencing depression or prone to depression or melancholy: there have been a few articles recently published about research that shows depression is driven, if not caused, by inflammation. As Mars rules inflammation and Aries, and Aries rules the brain as well as the blood through which hormones are transported, make some wishes around your depression lifting or around gaining insight into its root cause or wish to find the perfect therapist to help you work through it.

Everything becomes possible at the Aries New Moon…

It is also the beginning of Dragon month in Chinese Astrology. You might feel increased power and strength because this new Moon begins the month of the Metal Dragon. The Metal Dragon, or white Dragon, is powerful and intense. There is a sense of karma or fate in even the smallest interactions this month. Mighty Dragon is the most powerful sign of the Chinese zodiac, a strong leader who brings luck, prosperity, and rain.” (Susan Levitt -

This is also the Willow Tree/Sea Dragon New Moon in Celtic Astrology. Willow is ruled by the Moon. Willow has a long and extensive history of symbolism affiliated with ritual and metaphysical practices. Willow tree leaves have been found in megalithic burial sites and the tombs of the Pharaohs. At the Feast of the Tabernacle, ancient Israelites decorated their altar with Willow boughs. The Willow tree was considered one of the trees of enchantment, along with the Ash, in Northern Europe and Greece.The first tree of creation in Celtic mythology was the Willow. In the Druidic creation myth the two scarlet sea serpent’s eggs, which contained the Sun and The Earth, lay hidden in the boughs of the Willow. Thus, the universe was “hatched,” symbolizing both cosmic birth and the birth of life on Earth. In Robert Graves account of the life and death of Jesus, Mary Magdalene was living in a Willow tree when she and Jesus first met. 

The wood of the Willow has been used in ceremonies to honour the Moon and to enhance psychic abilities. Symbolically flora and fauna in close proximity to water were thought to inhabit the psychic realm and inspire the imagination. Magically Willow is used in New Moon magick, creativity, fertility, love divination, protection, healing and female rites of passage. A wand made of Willow wood can be used for protection during underworld journeys, to promote more vivid dreams and to draw down the Moon. Witches brooms are traditionally bound with the branch of a Willow.

Willow bark contains salicylic acid which is used to make aspirin. Willow bark infusions have long been used as a remedy for rheumatism, fever and chills. Willow sap applied directly to the skin is an acne remedy. Boiling Willow bark and leaves in water to create a strong decoction and applied once cooled to the scalp is a remedy for dandruff.

Willow is extremely flexible. It can bend into the most extreme poses without snapping. This is a powerful metaphor for the spiritual path. We can be bent but not broken when we are flexible and adjust to challenges rather than fighting against them.

“I am a willow of the wilderness, loving the wind that bent me.” (Ralph Waldo-Emmerson)

The Willow can take root from a single branch in moist conditions and can thrive in the most challenging conditions, a further testament to its adaptability and a reason it is called the Tree of Immortality. Willow reminds us to keep growing and reach higher no matter where we are rooted.

“Willow asks you to bend with her into the path of retrieval. Follow the labyrinth trail, connect with the power of wisdom and the rhythm of your soul, and return to the ordinary world strengthened. You will find that your awareness of your purpose is stronger and your intent cannot be broken by the spell of someone else’s desire.”  (“The Faces of Woman-Spirit - A Celtic Oracle of Avalon,” by Katherine Torres)

In the "Wisdom of Trees," Jane Gifford says the Willow encourages us to express deeply buried feelings so as to ease sadness through tears and the grieving process. The Willow reminds us that sometimes we need to let go completely, to surrender to the watery world of the subconscious and emotions; So that we may be led to a deeper understanding of our inner-most feelings, hidden motives and secret desires and fears. Suppressed and unacknowledged emotions can lead to energetic imbalances and stress, which can lead to illness. The Willow helps us acknowledge that within every loss is the potential for something new.

“We teach what we need to learn,” really! Our experience, process and transformation inspires us to share and inspire others to reach for the stars. It ignites our passion and creativity. In a sense all creativity is ignited by a passion for discovery. The creative process offers a spectrum of lesson opportunities. The more passionate the creator becomes about self-discovery and self-mastery, the longer the path, the greater the challenge, the deeper the experience, the more developed the innate gifts, and the more expanded and connected the resulting being becomes. This drive has an Aries flavour.

Yesterday morning during my mediation/contemplation I heard the words, “I am more evolved than you are.” I find this kind of thinking strange but it also triggers me, because of the arrogance, and because I feel sadness that the spiritual path has become a field of competition.

A truly spiritually evolved being is gentle and humble. They may or may not share their experience and speak their truth, but the need to compare themselves has long since left them. 

Anyway, how can one possibly judge the spiritual evolution status of another being? Aries is competitive by nature. Used most powerfully this Aries-flavoured drive can be used to propel us forward on the path towards becoming the greatest version of ourselves. Used in a less productive manner (long-term) this brings out the worst kind of competition, the ego-fueled spiritual evolution game. Nothing wrong with a healthy ego, in my opinion, but when the ego is disowned or projected it becomes like a raging beast which fills our mind with all manner of distorted thoughts, driven by anything lurking in denied and disowned parts of our being.

In my experience the assessment of status of somebody’s spiritual evolution is usually based upon things like their current challenges. Let’s say Bob is going through some kind of breakdown. Betty thinks, and maybe even says, “Oh I already had a breakdown and recovered, I’m more spiritually evolved than Bob.” 

Not everyone needs to have a breakdown, illness, spiritual emergency, tragic event, near-death experience or trauma to evolve to their next level, though for some of us it feels like we've had one thing after another. Bob may have been on his path for a long time and been in a really aware and expanded state of being when he began to go through his breakdown, while Betty’s breakdown may have been what took her out of her old life and put her on her spiritual path. How can you compare?

Who can tell who is where by when they had their breakdown? These challenges or lessons are merely spokes on the Great Wheel. We don’t all do the spokes in the same order. Some people do not do every spoke in a lifetime, some do a few spokes over and over again. Ultimately the path to spiritual evolution and self-mastery is unique for everyone and when we let go of comparison and judgement we leap forward on our path.

The Great Wheel brings me to time, cycles, spirals and the brain. Since Aries rules the brain and the Moon rules cycles, I’m going to keep on writing!
How we envision time says a great deal about which side of our brain is dominant. 

“The right brain is relational and unifying. When the right brain predominates everything – humans, animals, plants, the spiritual, and physical worlds – is interdependent aspects of one living being. The right brain sees time as cyclic and is audial and intuitive. The left brain is masculine, linear, logical, and visual. “It has been prevalent in the analytical, technological and scientific intellectualism of modern times.” (Demetra George) The right brain focuses on how things are alike while the left brain sees the differences. According to George, left brain dominance sees a separation between self and others, between us and them. Taken to extremes this attachment to self as being external to others results in feelings of isolation, fear, and disconnectedness.”
The above quote is from an article I wrote about the bicameral mind for It’s All Well+Good Magazine. Click HERE to read the rest of the article.

The ancients saw time in terms of cycles; The Lunar cycle; The Solar cycle; The birth, life, death, rebirth cycle. Now, time is measured and thought of by most in the developed world as being linear. Cycles are circular, beginnings are also endings. Something dies but something else is born. Energy is transformed from one thing into another; nothing is lost.

It follows that constantly comparing ourselves to others, judging others and competing is a pretty left brain thing to do. Seeing everything in terms of oneness, win-win and interconnected, as taught on the spiritual path (though not always practiced), is a natural function of the right brain. Perhaps an important step towards spiritual evolution is, at least in part, the return to right-brain dominance; the return to seeing EVERYTHING as interdependent aspects of one living being. 

The Great Wheel spins on a spiral, propelling us onward through experience, and upward in terms of frequency and vibration. Have you ever wondered why some issues and lessons repeat? We often think “but I've done this one so many times already, why? WHY? At least that is what I have often thought.

I feel that our core, deeply rooted lessons, challenges, gifts and life purpose are multi-faceted and part of how we are made. We can only address them up to the level we have reached on the spiral. As The Great Wheel spins onward and spirals ever upwards, back towards the source of all things, we also spiral upwards, addressing each spoke on the wheel destined for us again and again if necessary, or not, we can always resist. We can always choose to try and stay unaware or try and go back to sleep. Some are quite successful, or appear to have been thus far.

I saw a post on Facebook the other day. I can’t remember the exact words but it said something like, don’t focus on the shadow, focus on the light instead. All well and good and I agree, don’t focus on the shadow, BUT one of the least productive and potentially damaging things we can do on our spiritual path is to ignore or deny what our shadow is revealing to us, when it makes its presence known.

The shadow or dark phase is part of every cycle, including the Great Wheel. In the Lunar phase the shadow phase is represented by the Balsamic Moon, the last few days of the waning Moon and just before the New Moon. We can run from our shadow for the rest of our days, it’s our choice, but choosing to address our shadow when it is brought to our attention is the fast track way to unlocking our creative power. When we allow ourselves to acknowledge what makes us feel uncomfortable with ourselves and others, and why, we are able to make more conscious choices as to what no longer serves us, what is no longer in alignment with us and our purpose. The sahdow is not bad or good, it is just what we are denying, or rejecting, or what hasn't been brought into our conscious awareness yet. Sometimes what we are disowning and denying are our gifts and power. If we refuse to look at it, we won’t ever release it, heal it and become empowered by the gifts in the lessons learnt and challenges faced. It will keep coming back, no matter how much love and light we talk and sprinkle.

Earlier today I experienced one of those high pitched sounds. It blasted me in one ear but only lasted only as long as it took for me to acknowledge it and remember the purpose of high pitched ear blasts.

I am currently processing something that has been challenging me for some time. The lesson I am talking about has a lot to do with my boundaries and honouring myself. 

The high-pitched sound made me wonder if I am missing something, if I need to look at the issue from a different angle, if perhaps I am being too stubborn and unwise rather than honest and true with myself? Perhaps there is an opportunity for healing the root cause of this situation? 

Now I am dancing with my shadow. I have experienced a spectrum of emotions since the ear-piercing noise. I have both softened and experienced a brief outburst of anger. I don't get really angry easily or often, but when I do it can be pretty fiery. Fortunately it is over quickly too. I am reminded that once in motion, the pendulum swings from side to side before resting again in the middle. The high pitched noise stirred things-up, made the pendulum swing. I can only wonder where it will lead me.

I am posting this blog entry about 24 hours before the Aries New Moon. It is still the Balsamic or Dark Phase of the Lunar Cycle. The Shadow is likely to have come up for a review of something that needs to be owned, healed or released in the last day or so. It has for me. Perhaps you don’t recognize the energy that shows us what needs to be healed, released or owned as the shadow. It truly matters not what you call it, but allowing it to complete the breakdown of the old so that the energy may be transformed into the new is powerful creatively. That is what working consciously with creative cycles is about. This is more than just any New Moon. The shifts that have taken place since the Solar Eclipse, March Equinox, and Lunar Eclipse have been extremely powerful, even if we can’t see evidence of them in the physical just yet. We are different as a result, whether we are aware or not. We are in a position to seed the new with beautiful possibilities as never before.

Time to make a wish, or two! Let’s dance! Love!!!!!!!!

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Photos and Mandalas by Virginia (except Willow Tree photo)

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