Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Moon in Aries

Once a month the moon goes through her dark phase, also called the New Moon. This occurs when the moon and sun are conjunct on the ecliptic. When they are so joined, there is no light from which the moon can reflect and so she appears dark in the sky. As the two bodies slowly begin to pull away from each other, she once again begins to reflect the sun's light, in a sliver of a crescent at first, gradually, each night building light on her surface until she rides full and round in the night sky. Today the moon is conjunct the sun in the traditional astrological sign of Aries, heralder of spring, new beginnings and awakening life. In the northern hemisphere of course.

This morning there is a skiff of snow on the valley floor, the sky is clear and blue and the Swan Range in the distance across the lake is proud and stunning. It's cold, but the sun is beginning to carry warmth here and the days will continue to lengthen until they last 18 hours. Dawn and evening will stretch on and on like the taffy of the gods, creating more of those in-between times like twilight and dusk and slow morning; more time for the human soul to integrate the lessons of the earth mother, more time to celebrate the life we have here, more time to heed the call.

It's an auspicious time to begin a medicine wheel journey. Because the medicine wheel is a cosomos-viewer created by indigenous peoples in different parts of the world, there are different meanings for the directions, different animal totems, different lessons to be learned, different tools with which to manifest spirit. Which means of course that it's up to the individual to intuitively decide where to begin, what processes to use and how long to spend with each direction.

I've decided that my initial journey around the wheel will begin now, in the spring, in the east. I will journey once around the wheel in the coming year, seasonally and with the rhythms of the moon. The element of the east is air where the power of the mind comes to bear on the creative forces alive in the universe and begins to work in harmony with the elemental muses. I will use my time in the east, which will last until the summer solstice in June, to begin to heal my body from its various abuses by practicing extreme self-care and to prepare for the remainder of the journey.

I will post more about how I'm going about this as I go about it, but for now I've decided to continue my exercise program and hopefully notch it up a bit as well as adding weekly saunas to the routine. My dear friend and employer, Roberta, has a FAR infrared sauna that is available to me almost any time. I've used the sauna, but not in any disciplined way and not with much intent behind it. That's going to change and I intend to sweat. A lot. Sweat is purifying and I want to assist my body with the healing that good old-fashioned sweat can provide. I will rest, as long and as often as I need to. When I can afford extras, I will do them: massage and yoga come immediately to mind.

This seems like a good time to say that I'm up for any and all suggestions about how to implement better self-care. I know nutrition will play a huge part for me.

Another thing I'm going to do is use the new and full moons to write out intentions each month and follow-up with how I'm doing on them. I've done this before, but once again not in a disciplined or meaningful way. My intentions for this cycle are:

1. Stay sober
2. Sweat 5-6 times a week whether through exercise or sauna.
3. Continue with my outside treatment protocol which includes group and individual
therapy, medication management (for depression and anxiety which continue to
show up), relapse prevention, AA attendance and LSR e-mail list participation.


big Jenn said...

The medicine wheel has so much meaning for me too. I have used Native American wisdom along my journey also. Your plan sounds great. Of course the daily disapline of following through with it is the challange. That is the good stuff though. Acomplishing our most personal challanges. Beautiful picture of the mountains! Thank you. jeNN

Olivia said...


You are doing a PHENOMENAL job with self-care---all of it---staying sober first of course, but then learning new ways of caring for yourself. I will be going on vacation until the 3rd week of April, but you will be in my thoughts the whole time. You're an inspiration to me, and keep up the incredible work! I am very, very happy for you.

Much Love,


vicariousrising said...

Massage is a great one. I try to do that whenever I can, which is not as often as I like.

Like big Jenn said, the daily discipline is the challenge. When I was able to keep promises I made to myself, that's when my recovery really began to stick. I've continued to set reasonable goals for myself and stick to them -- remembering that I am being good to and taking care of me.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

This is a great post and so much here, I really enjoy reading about your journey and how you are! Thank you for sharing.

julesgp187 said...

Angela, You are doing a super job taking care of yourself and finding what works for you. keep on!