This early June Full Moon that graces the sky in the Northern Hemisphere on Friday morning, June 5th, brings us into eclipse season, meaning the energy around us is potent and contains many layers. The Full Moon is in the house of Sagittarius, a fire sign with a lot to tell us.
We are inside of a powerful moment on the planet. Still in the midst of a pandemic, the United States erupting in cries for social justice, and the climate crisis always looming, we can use the insights offered freely by the sky to support us in connecting with our highest self during this time. When we can listen to guidance, go inward and reflect, and continue to show up to the present moment, we enter into a space of expansion and growth. Both as individuals and as a collective. We can use the wisdom of the sky and move forward.
The fire of the Sagittarius sign is reminding us that going through a moment of heat is an alchemical experience. We either get burned by the intensity, or we gather our resources and do the best we can to stay present and transform. If we can stay present while experiencing intensity, we will inevitably grow.
The ancient alchemists believed that if they went into the darkness for long enough and applied enough heat, they could turn a stone into gold. From a psychological perspective, this is exactly what happens for us with whatever stone of hardship we may be carrying. We have the ever-present capacity to transmute our reality.
The Full Moon is giving us full permission to greet what is present inside of us as we move through this collectively intense moment, and watch the magic that happens. The world is in a fluid and malleable place, and we are invited to refine our capacity to witness and participate in all of it. If we are willing to show up and explore deep emotions we will be rewarded with a more dimensional experience of life.
This Full Moon is a philosophical moon. It asks us to look at the big picture, both of our individual reality and collective experience, and check in with what belief systems we are ruled by. The yogis compare all of our beliefs to lenses like you would find on glasses, or window screens you see the world through. It is impossible to not have lenses as human beings. The good news is, with practices such as meditation, contemplation, journaling, and embodiment, we have the opportunity to question the lenses we've been looking through and make changes that serve our highest good.
The Full Moon is encouraging us to get messy, as many of us are experiential learners. Sometimes it takes re-learning the same lesson a few times for it to stick. Experts say we are being asked to lay down perfectionism, the need to know what is going to happen, as well as the need to be right, and experiment. This might be as simple as playing with new recipes you have never tried before, reading a book from a genre or culture that is different from you, or trying a new movement class. This can also be as profound as entering into a conversation with someone who has a seemingly opposing view point with the intention to listen and understand. Exploration, getting things wrong, and making different choices based on the experiences we are having is part of the human process of growth.
During our self-exploration, we are asked to practice deep listening. Getting still and quiet, and checking in with what is present. There is a part inside all of us that already knows what we need to continue to expand into our highest selves. Deep listening can also take place with people you are inspired by. Teachers are powerful catalysts for self-work. Look for sources and people that speak to your heart. Listen, read, watch, and give yourself time to be in your truth. However you are experiencing this present moment is right as long as you meet it with curiosity and deep compassion.
This moon also offers us guidance regarding the past. Experts say that the sky is telling us to look towards the past with acknowledgment and reverence, but to not get stuck in it. We are not meant to keep re-living the past. We are meant to learn from it. In order to do that, we must apply forgiveness for ourselves, those we were raised by, those who shaped our lives, the ideologies that informed us, and the environments we grew up with. When we can release the guilt, shame, and blame, we enter into the opportunity to learn, grow, and act.
We are in a cycle of transformation and the best thing we can do is to weather the storm with open minds, hearts, and deep compassion for all.
FULL MOON RITUAL :: Set You Up to Listen
The capacity to listen deeply to a place within us that holds all wisdom, compassion, and knowing of what we need comes when we get out of the sympathetic (flight, fight, freeze) nervous system and into the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. We need to be in a place of ease and openness in order to receive insight. This is why yogis put Savasana (corpse pose) at the end of the yoga asana practice : we move our bodies and then arrive at a place where we can relax, integrate and gain insight.
Unfortunately, our modern world places us in the sympathetic nervous system most of the time. Add on a pandemic and civil unrest (to name two current realities) and it can be justifiably challenging for many of us to slow down, get quiet, and relax. Many of us are experiencing interrupted sleep, intense anxiety and worry, digestion problems, and many other symptoms resulting from our nervous system being always "on."
Try out this mini at-home retreat as a way to shut out the world briefly, steep into healing, and recharge your whole being. It is from this place of ease that we can listen to that ever-knowing piece of ourselves that can guide us in making impactful decisions for the well-being of ourselves and the world.
What you will need:
1. Choose a day when you can turn off your phone (for at least half of it), put away your computer, tell your friends and family you are not available.
2. At the beginning of the time you have allotted for you, set a timer for 20 minutes. Until it goes off, say out loud 20 things you are grateful for, followed by simply feeling your breath move in and out of your body.
3. When the timer goes off, take out your journal and write what is present for you. This may take 3 minutes or this might be much longer. Let yourself free write what is present for you in this moment.
4. After journaling, take a moment to stand in Tadasana (aka Mountain Pose: feet hips width apart and parallel, arms by your side, tall spine, crown of head upward) with your eyes closed. Take 20 breaths in through the nose and exhale out of the mouth. Take in as much air as you can, and allow your exhale to be as long as possible.
5. After your breaths, come to lay down on your back. You can place props underneath your knees, cover yourself with a blanket, or make any adjustments that might feel supportive to complete ease. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
6. Until the timer goes off, breathe deep into the belly. Let your focus be on softening the body and breathing into the belly, watching and feeling it rise and fall. If the mind is chatting, assign a count to your breath. Inhale for 4 or 5 or 6 and exhale the same length. Continue this simple technique. Do not worry if you fall asleep, the timer will wake you up.
7. Once the timer goes off, lovingly bring yourself up to a seat. Sit in the gratitude towards yourself for taking this time.
8. One more time, open you journal to a fresh page and write what is present. Again this may be only a few moments or a longer amount of time. Write until you feel complete.
Know that you can return to this practice anytime you want to come back to ease and restoration as a pathway to insight.