Moon Lesson • Lasting Warmth to Melt the Snow
Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, Native American tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full moon the Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this moon as the Full Hunger Moon since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.
The Full Snow Moon is our next link to the element of Air. Last month, I offered the connection between prana, pranayama, spirit Wind, sister Cloud and the alchemy of Space. I also mentioned, among other self study opportunities, we would dedicate some of our time with the element of Air breathing new life into our hearth and home. And what better time to do so. It’s cold here in the northern hemisphere; but even excessive warmth in the southern hemisphere might draw us in to our homes for comfort. So what does it look like to shift the Air in your home for healing? And why might we do this?
When Air is active, there is a certain current or movement felt. When Air is inactive, you might notice a staleness. Whether stagnant or flowing, the Air about you has a significant impact on your sense of wellness. So this month, we are going to explore a two practices to help you clear the Air.
Before we get to clearing the Air, let’s take a look at the feminine archetype who will help us with this work. You might anticipate your Healer or your Teacher or even your Medicine Woman archetype for this work. But we are going to call on our Lover/Seductress this month. Your Lover/Seductress has the capacity to transform stagnant energy like no other archetype — with fiery passion.
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The Lover/Seductress plays a tremendous role in our ability to lovingly clear and revive space, to envelop a person, place, plant or animal with deep caring, and to embrace our selves as spiritual beings. We use womb centered healing for this work. Your womb is the hearth of your body. It’s the house of svadhisthana chakra (sacral chakra) which is your creative, sexual, and emotional center. For sacred clearing and acts of consecration, we need to honor and tap into the Lover’s superpower — connection.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teaches us the myriad of problems facing society today stem from a misconception that the Self as separate. Separate from other humans, separate from nature and the planet, separate internally (body from mind, spirit from matter, feeling from thought), separate from the sacred. Some would argue separation is part of our initiatory and evolutionary path. Just as a child must eventually separate from their parents in order to become a mature individual, we as a species need to separate ourselves from the myriad webs of connectedness we naturally inhabit, in order to mature. Others might argue that we must define and separate one thing from the other in order to better know ourselves. Honestly, I don’t believe we could behave any more separate than we do today — each of us hidden behind the solid walls and closed doors of our homes, spending more time talking to our computers than to actual humans, fearful of even touching one another, and so forth. I’m simply not sure this way of being has worked out well for us.
Nancy Qualls-Corbett, author of the book, The Sacred Prostitute, writes eloquently, “I began to see that the pervasive emptiness people complained of could be explained in terms of the loss of the goddess — the one who renews life, brings love, passion, fertility — and the sensuous priestess — the human woman who brought the attributes of the goddess into the lives of human beings. The connection to an important layer of instinctual life – joy, beauty, a creative energy that unites sexuality and spirituality – had been lost…”
I think it’s safe to say most people are yearning for reconnection with themselves and with the Divine. The Lover’s role is to offer ourselves up as a vehicle of connection.
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The Lover is an archetype deep with emotion and sensuality, and although we tend to associate the words ‘sensual’ and ‘lover’ with sex we will look toward a much deeper and broader meaning.
Being sensual means to be open and to use all of your senses in all areas of life. By really seeing, touching, tasting, smelling and hearing, we experience the world around us in a deeper and more sensual and connected way. This gives us the opportunity to explore our world from a new and exciting standpoint. To be “excited” by the smell of a ripe melon, or the taste of a juicy mango, to touch soft satin sheets or to sink into the silky soft depths of a warm bath, we experience the unique and sensual aspect that is the gift of being human. Our bodies are developed to experience pleasure both sexually and viscerally, and as such, when we tap into our womb and our inner Lover archetype, we begin to connect with the world around us in a deeper, more profound way.
The Lover in us, when attuned to the mysterious forces underlying our everyday existence, will discover an untapped reverence and deeper understanding of the sacred and the sexual/spiritual in our lives. This not only allows us to be tapped into our bodies, but also into our minds and thoughts, and most importantly, our intuition.
In his book, Dear Lover, David Deida speaks of using the energy of arousal and channeling it into our bodies. He invites us to imagine walking around in a state of full body arousal, knowing that we can channel that energy into what ever we choose; may it be our craft, our families, or later with yourself or your lover. A secret smile would indeed cross your lips. Aim to approach each day this way, and particularly when your intention is to clear and consecrate sacred space.
To support this effort of remaining in a place of excitement and creation, I’m introducing a womb healing ceremony for you to try for yourself.
Before you begin the womb healing on behalf of your Lover, I must introduce you to your anchors for this month:
Hawthorn Tree and White Moonstone
Hawthorn is often linked with love-making and all matters of the heart. In ancient Greece the wood was used for making a marriage torch and girls wore crowns of hawthorn at their weddings for fertility and a long lasting love in their union.
Interestingly enough, the Hawthorn is a small tree in the rose family, and you might know, roses are also associated with the heart and love. Hawthorn are traditionally known to be “village” trees, as they tend to like to grow close to people. The blossoms of the hawthorn tree are said to give off a potent perfume likened to the secretions of females, making it highly erotic, and thought to be deeply fertile. For women who wish to get pregnant it was said that keeping hawthorn blossoms around the house would increase their chances!
When referring to tree lore, by far the best information written is by Glennie Kindred:
“Hawthorn has long been used as a herbal remedy that is beneficial to the heart. The etheric signature of the Hawthorn is said to have a pulsation that is similar to that of the human heartbeat.
Hawthorn has long been prized as a heart tonic, and the leaves, the flowers and the berries can all be used medicinally. The berries especially are the most effective. They act in a normalizing way upon the heart by either stimulating or depressing its activity, depending on the need, gently moving the heart to normal function. Hawthorn berries may be used safely as a long-term treatment for heart weakness, palpitations, high blood pressure and angina. It is perfectly safe for children and the elderly and for drinking daily over long periods. The Druids used the Hawthorn to strengthen the body in the frailty of old age. Drink an infusion of the berries three times a day during old age, during periods of stress, to ease pressure of work, or for any nervous condition. It improves the blood supply to all tissues and is good for improving circulation. Relieving stress and anxiety, it will bring a calm sleep if drunk at night.
Collect the berries in the Autumn before the frosts. Dry them in brown paper bags in the airing cupboard and store them in brown paper bags or dark jars. Their potency will last for two years. The dried berries are made into a decoction. Allow two teaspoons of the berries for each drink and soak in cold water over night. The next day, strain off the berries and drink the liquid cold or boil the liquid and the berries gently for 15-20 minutes and drink as a tea.
The blossoms can be drunk as a tonic tea, which also has a beneficial effect on the heart and circulation. It is both necessary and safe to take it over long periods, as its action is very gradual. To make an infusion, pour a cup of boiling water onto two teaspoons of the dried flowers. Cover and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. If you collect the flowers, they need to be dried quickly in brown paper bags hung in an airy place and then sealed in an airtight container, as their potency tends to deteriorate quickly. Gather them fresh every year.
Moonstone is a “stone of new beginnings”, and as it’s name suggests, is associated with the moon and feminine energy, and in India, is considered the perfect stone for women. This stone reminds us as that just like the waxing and waning of the moon, everything is part of a cycle of change.
Moonstone has been used for many things, from enhancing intuition to clearing chakras. This stone has been used for psychological, mental, emotional, and physical issues, so it’s a good all around holistic stone to use. This stone makes conscious the unconscious and enhances intuition and empathy. It is well known that this stone has been used to help women with easing menstrual cramps and other issues within the female reproductive system. Moonstone can help balance all fluid systems in the body, such as the lymphatic and digestive systems. Moonstone can gently balance and stabilize all emotional states and help release stress and tension and is good to use on the sacral chakra. Moonstone opens the mind to sudden and irrational impulses, serendipity, and synchronicity.
Moonstone is considered a Dream holder talisman. Dream holders have the appearance of being hazy, as if something is veiled or hidden from our sight, just beneath the surface. Moonstone is particularly powerful when used as a tool to help us focus our energy or hold on to our dreams. It is also considered a filter, and these stones are used to keep negative energy away from us and help us to see the positive in situations, rather than the negative.
The Archangel associated with moonstone is Haniel.
The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall
The Magic of Crystals, Colour, and Chakra, by Hermes House
The Seven Secrets of Crystal Talismans, by Henry M. Mason
Connect with Branch & Stone
We connect with branch and stone prior to our journey work each month. Once you’ve connected with them, they become additional tools to access for grounding, centering, healing, etc. So, if you have one, gather your moonstone and place it in your right hand (or place it just inside your bra near your heart if you’re doing your own drumming). Get comfortable and close your eyes.
Begin this journey in your sacred spot. Look for the entry to the lower realm. Journey through the entry into the lower realm and call to your Guide. Ask your Guide to lead you to the sacred grove where you might connect with the Hawthorn tree, the tree of Love.
As you sit, keep your heart open to whatever will come to you. State your intent, asking the Hawthorn each of the questions below. Pro Tip: wait for your answer to the first question before asking the second.
Where can I begin to love myself better? Show me the reason/when I first stopped loving these aspects of myself.
Sit with your back leaning against the tree and begin to imagine your heart beating as one with the hawthorn tree.
TO DO: Once you have deeply connected with the tree, ask the Hawthorn tree to show you all that truly excites your Lover/Seductress.
Sacred Practice - Womb Healing
Through this act of Womb Healing honor yourself, mothers and grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters, and your ancestors. Engage in a conscious process of releasing old stories and wounds that limit your evolution. Open to profound healing while cultivating space for greater sensitivity, creativity, and joy. As you come into your own healing, you heal the entire line of women who are linked to you. Together you free the burden of fear, pain, sorrow, grief, shame, guilt, and all other burdens that women have carried from their life experiences, cultures, and ancestry. As these heavy energies are cleared, you become empowered to reclaim your place in the world as a wise leader, teacher, and healer.
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You will need a small bit of white sage and a small ceramic (heat safe) bowl or abalone shell and something to light your sage. You will need to set aside some quiet time for this personal ceremony. You will be laying down for this ceremony, so if you would prefer to be slightly inclined on pillows or a bolster, please do and aim to be comfortable. This ceremony can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. You will know what your womb requires. An additional option is to bring your Moonstone, if you have one, into this ceremony. You would place the stone on your sacral space.
STEP 1: Position your body in Suptabaddha Konasana. Bring the bottoms of your feet together and allow your knees to splay apart creating a diamond with your legs.
STEP 2: Position your sage into the diamond space created by your legs near your yoni. Light the sage, so the cleansing smoke from the sage will flow up and around the room. Make sure there are no flammable items near by.
STEP 3: When it’s safe to do so, lie back to completely settle into suptabaddha konasana. You are welcome to lie directly on the floor or on your pillows or a bolster. Next place your right hand on your sacral space and then your left hand on top of your right hand. Position your thumbs to just touch, creating a small triangle with your thumbs.
STEP 4: Take three breaths in and out. Set your intention on clearing and balancing. Repeat the statement below OUT LOUD and slowly. You will do three rounds of three. The first set (repeating the affirmation 3 times) will be rather quiet…using your inside voice. The second set a little louder. And the third set of three will be quite loud and with conviction.
The womb is not a place to store fear and pain; the womb is to create and give birth to life.
Remain with the energy for as long as you are called. When you’re ready, you will slowly sit up. Make sure your sage is safely snubbed out and just notice all of the sensations within and around your body. Notice the space you’re in. This brings us to our second practice for this month.
Sacred Practice - Home Clearing
You will need 1/2 cup of table salt, a sage bundle, and something to light your sage with.
On a clear day this month, walk through your home and take note of the corners. Are they free from clutter? Are they filled with plants? Are the plants healthy? Are the corners filled with stacks of forgotten items? Your womb healing ceremony connected you to your ancestral Wise Ones. Use this vision and ask “Is it essential?, Is it elemental (sacred)?, Is it emotional (keepsakes)? Or is it junk?” Sort and clear appropriately. Plants should definitely stay…they are homes for our helping spirits.
For this clearing, we need only clear the corners of “junk” so the energy can flow to the edges of each space. Your home, just as your womb and your mind, is sacred and should not be filled with garbage. That said, please don’t approach this as you might a spring cleaning…you don’t need to take a toothbrush to your spaces. Simply aim to be thoughtful and purposeful about what is in your home, where, and why.
Once your corners are organized, walk to the front door and open it wide. Walk to any other doors leading to the outside or garage. Open those wide as well. Let the Air element begin to do it’s work.
Head back to the front door and light your sage. In the open doorway, make three circles in the air with the sage smoke. State out loud with a fierce passion. I am the Healer and keeper of this home, I release any and all stagnant, harmful, fear based energies from this space.
Then draw a line of salt on the threshold. State out loud with conviction.
As this salt I sprinkle about,
to keep the evil spirits out;
Let no danger enter in,
Any opening herein,
I now invoke the law of three.
This is my will. Blessed be.
(source: The Magical Household, Cunningham.)
Slam the door shut. And repeat for each access point leading into/out of your home. Once your home is sealed again. Walk to the center of your home. Sit down either in a chair or on the floor. Place your hands on your sacral space. Close your eyes and breathe. Notice the energy in your Home and breathe in time with your Home. When you sense the bonding of womb to home is complete…it is. For as long as a single grain of salt remains, let no person or spirit who means to do any harm cross this threshold into my home. Continue your day with passion.
Journey for your Sacred Object
Your sacred object this month will represent your inner Lover, your strength as a sensual woman in touch with herself and her body. A priestess who embodies her inner lover and sensual nature is a woman in charge of her body, her temple, and is therefore responsible for herself and her actions in the world.
Journey with your Guide to sit under the hawthorne tree again and ask that you be shown the sacred object that represents your Lover. Once this object is revealed to you. It’s time to retrieve it in the real world. This might take days, weeks, or even months to finally secure your sacred object. If you have not found your object but know what it is, select a ‘placeholder’ to work with until your true power object is secured.
TO DO: Once you have your object in hand, ask your object ‘what ceremony can I do to consecrate you before you go into the bundle?’ Maybe a soak in water under moon light, maybe smudging with sage, or simply blow three clearing breathes over the object to clear it and bind it to you.
Continue to journey with your object as much as you feel called to this month. Remember that you have the whole month to make a sacred bond with your object before it goes into your medicine bundle, so take that time and sit with it as much as possible.