New Moon in Gemini: Lung, Nerve, and Language

This piece originally appeared on The House of Twigs in my lunation column, Celestial Hermit.

At 3:03am on June 3rd, the New Moon in Gemini arrives. As the Sun and Moon rest together at 12° Gemini, an as yet unknown doorway opens before us. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, god of language. The symbolism of a New Moon is always that of a new beginning, and as we work under the cover of the dark Moon, we are able to step out onto a new pathway in our psyche, in our soul, and in our physical experience of this life. Let’s take a closer look at the astrology of this lunation. 

All New Moons are potent in their darkness. Without the hype and manifestation energy of a Full Moon, this lunation is all about getting ourselves aligned with the work that lies ahead. You are able now to leave behind this most recent cycle’s pain and baggage. You are experiencing the winding down of one story so that another can begin. It can be difficult to bear, as things seem to fall away from us without warning. But remember that the cosmos has a plan for us, and moving in accordance with the mysteries can only lead us to greater growth. 

This particular New Moon is extremely potent, as it is the last New Moon before the beginning of this summer’s eclipses, which will shake up our attachments around ideas of “home,” “family,” and our roots, as well as our public persona and the path we walk in this lifetime. Lunation during eclipse season are working on their own magick. Because of this, much intention-setting work can and should be this week before we are swept away in the tides of the eclipses.

Gemini is ruled by Mercury, god of language, learning, play, inspiration, travel, practical joking, writing, and poetry. In Roman myth, Mercury was the only god who could travel both in the realm of the day as well as in the underworld, as he guided souls down to the realm of afterlife. Thus we see there is a dualistic nature in the god that rules the sign. 

Gemini is an air sign, it is a sign of communication and breath. Gemini also rules the nervous system, and things that come in pairs — hands, lungs, for example, things that can move nervously when an individual is under duress. This New Moon is all about cultivating space via air, via breath, and finding in our breath new ways of speaking to ourselves, about ourselves, and about the lives we lead. The language we use on a daily basis creates the reality we experience, my dears. There is so much power behind the words we choose, the ones we characterize ourselves and our loves, our hopes, dreams, and fears with. 

I want you to spend time this New Moon writing and then speaking aloud the world you envision yourself living in. Write yourself a letter, one that details the life you want to lead, going forward. Dedicate it to Mercury. Imagine the components richly, lavish yourself in hope, optimism, and bravery. Feel confident in your ability to cultivate this future. When you’re done writing the note, read it aloud to Mercury himself. This prayer will be your intention set, one delivered from the intellect through the lungs, out into the common space of your environment—all things that fall under Gemini’s purview.

How have you been feeling though? These days are oh so heavy. Not only are Pluto and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn, they are also retrograde, pulling us back in terms of our grasp on material things, and it feels so hard lately to see that we can move forward. Saturn and Pluto are not only conjunct, and retrograde, but they are also conjunct the South Node, which is a sensitive and karmic point in the chart which talks about past life baggage. This commingling of planetary experience is can bring leaden darkness. You are being asked to banish all outmoded energies. But parting with what’s familiar can be painful. 

I want you to trust that you can let go of old hurt, and in the process find room for something new, something more aligned with your own vision of yourself. An authentic one, for lack of a better term. We come into this life and are told to be a certain way. Language always matters. As we grow up and away from what we knew, cultivating our own narrative is crucial for the development of our psyche. Gemini reminds us of this, and asks us to be the author of this very life. Write your own story. One that makes your heart and lungs shine with pride, one that turns your aura greengold.

Neptune will also be the focal point of a t-square angle formation. It receives pressure from Jupiter and Mars, and in the process we are liable to feel extremely confused. Neptune is the planet of fantasy, and when cornered by the planet of expansion (Jupiter) and the planet of war (Mars), things can seem like they’re uncontrollably strange, erratic, or unpredictable. Keep a mindful watch on your own energy, my dears. That is the only thing you can control at this point. If you feel reality slipping away a bit, remember that this influence is passing, but do try to ask yourself what is being revealed now, too. There are messages in all experience, whether they are positive or difficult. 

The New Moon in Gemini asks you to bridge the gap from this world to the next, to understand that in order to move forward, you need to contain both your own light and your own darkness. Your lungs can sing out, your nerves can direct you to the next doorway, and you can cultivate your own path forward, with power, grace, and clarity. Imagine your future, and don’t hold back. The seeds you plant now will bloom, come December. Infuse them with hope, and believe in their tender roots.

Ritual: New Moon in Gemini

 New Moon in Gemini: Language Shapes the Future

The New Moon in Gemini is a potent lunation, marking the final New Moon before the eclipses arrive this summer. This is the final lunation for intention-setting of our own design, as the eclipses truly work on their own magickal system, regardless of our whims and wants.

We can set our intentions with this lunation, though, and they will germinate over the next six months, finding full bloom in December.

Gemini is a mutable air sign ruled by Mercury, god of language, wits, poetry, inspiration, practical joking. Words flow naturally, quickly, nervously, from the lungs and nervous system of this sign. This ritual aims to take language as its raw material and from that medium sculpt a vision of a green gold future. One that we inhabit as our true selves, where no one can tell us we’re off track, wrong, or too foolish. No, no more of that my darlings. We’re writing our way forward, under the guardianship of Mercury, Hermes, and Thoth.

Materials:

Paper and writing implement, they can be of any choosing. Make sure your pen works well, and that your paper will carry your words with strength.

Feel free to gather your favorite incense with which you cleanse your letter at the end of this practice.

  1. Gather your materials and find a comfortable place to sit. When you sit, breathe deeply for ten breaths. Make yourself aware of how your body meets the chair, how your feet meet the floor. Your lungs move in time, too. All of this is important as you focus your mind.

  2. The instructions here are simple. Write a letter to yourself, describing the future you wish you meet. Describe all details of your life, richly, lavishly, with focus and optimism. Write about what you hope to grow through this lunation, and how you will feel through this process. Imagine and write about your sense of pride and warmth at the alignment you find in this honest, purposeful, and positive growth.

  3. Make room though for your shadow. Acknowledge what you will shed. Gemini brings light and darkness, and here you can be sure that the underworld is as potent as Olympus. Write to your former self, finding compassion for that version of you that perhaps needed love and support and didn’t receive it in time. Find ways to gently say farewell to old modes of living, ones which you will have to part ways with in order to find your growth.

  4. When your letter is complete, find your way outdoors. Pick a private space and read the letter to Mercury, aloud. This god celebrates air, language, and lung. Make your words clear and speak with intention as you read this note to the lord of this lunation. If you cannot get outside to a place that feels private and safe, don’t worry. Reading aloud in your own home will be just fine, as well. Regardless of where you find yourself, read with intention, full lungs, and focus.

  5. After this, fold your letter up and pass it through the smoke of your incense, if you’ve chosen to burn some. This cleanses the letter. Smoke escorts your words to the astral plane, where they will sit, germinate, and find fruition. Feel free to sit in meditation with your letter for as long as you like, envisioning the world you wish to inhabit.

Your Heart, A Garden, Your Sword, a Crab: Venus in Taurus + Mars in Cancer 2019


On May 14, 2019, Venus and Mars ingress into new signs, signaling to us a fresh energetic narrative around themes of love, money, values, anger, conflict, and self-advocacy. 


Venus in Taurus, May 15 - June 9


At 2:46am, Venus enters Taurus. In the midst of Taurus season, this is a lush blessing. Venus rules Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, the sign of the senses, the body, and all that comes with it. Here, Venus is at home. Perched in graceful full glam on a velvet green couch, the expression of Venusian energy here is pure, effervescent, and available to us all. 


Venus is the goddess of surfaces. Art, texture, touch, taste, music, color, fabric, all fall under Venus’s domain. She is also the goddess of values. She helps us determine what is important and what we can do away with. She can help us draw boundaries to protect our sense of self, our inner resources, our energy, our auras. 


She can also help us practice some stern financial sense, believe it or not. From this goddess comes beauty and the promise of cultivation of value, something we can only do when we understand our resources at hand. Inside your heart is a garden. Venus in Taurus asks you to tend to it, gently, to encourage new vines to flourish, new paths to open up, and new fruit to fall. 


From now until June 9th, Venus will sway through earthy Taurus, bringing our sense of self back to the tangible. Taurus is a sign that is fully embedded in her body, and Venus’s time in Taurus thus seeks to return us to our physical, true, lived experience. This is an amazing time for us all to find richer, more generous ways to spread out and embrace the versatility of our physical experience. 


Venus makes some exciting connections to other planets in her time in Taurus. On May 18th, the date of the Full Moon in Scorpio, Venus will connect with Uranus. Sparkling green electricity crackles in our hearts with this conjunction, as the planet of love blends efforts with the planet of shock, change, and futurity. New insight around romance is bound to erupt at this point, so keep yourself in the moment. You are being shown new ways of seeing, my dears. 


On May 30th, Venus will sextile Neptune, a seriously romantic and whimsical aspect which encourages us to speak in poetry and move in music. Concertos emanate from your fingertips on this day. Use your hands to connect with those you love, as Neptune here encourages radical empathy. May 31st sees Venus trine Saturn, and we’ll be supported in our efforts to transform dreams of love to actual realities. June 2nd sees Venus trine Pluto, god of the underworld. Our senses will be deep, passions will have a larger than life quality, as we ask ourselves and our lovers questions that only the soul can answer. Love in the underworld is the only love that will do, today.


Mars in Cancer, May 15 - July 2


Mars in Cancer is in its detriment. Here, the god of war feels uncomfortable in the domain of the crab, which prefers to move side-to-side rather than charge forward on the battlefield. With Mars in Cancer through July 2nd, we’ll be asked to reroute our rage through our heart-centers, which might be quite uncomfortable for us. Mars wants to break things open, cover himself in blood, sharpen his spear and lunge for enemies. Cancer is the sign ruled by the moody Moon, a water sign that prefers the quietude of hidden interiors than the active heat of Mars energy. You can see that this combination is not ideal.


We can be sure that there will be some frustration with Mars in Cancer. But perhaps this is an interesting experiment for us. Can we find ways to sit with our pain when it seems to overwhelm our systems? Is it enough to acknowledge our anger, to name it and try to set it free? Or do we need to pierce it with our martian swords? This spell of Mars in Cancer will bring up lots of questions around how we internalize rage, and what we can do to quell abuse that emanates from within. 


On May 22nd, Mars will sextile Uranus, which can either be constructive or overwhelming. Uranus is the planet of futurity and shocking change, and sextiles are active, productive aspects. This could be a day where we are shown a new way of seeing, a way of tilting our head at our hot feelings and envisioning a new way out. Either that or we’ll be overloaded with energy and seek to lash out. Be mindful of how you speak to family members, loved ones, and people in the home on this day. 


June 13th sees Mars trine Neptune, bringing an intuitive softness to the relationship we have with conflict. Our own inner energy source deserves a spiritual check-in, and this is the perfect day for that. On June 14th Mars will oppose Saturn, bringing pressure to our chests, as the planet of responsibility and boundary will bear down on Mars at this time. Take note of how you feel, and see what you can channel into productivity. Try not to internalize too much today. Yes, you are being shown your flaws, but there is a message here for you. 


Lastly, on June 19th Mars opposes Pluto, and this is a tense and potentially explosive aspect for the day. Mars and Pluto in conversation with one another are a powerful duo, and in this oppositional aspect formation, there is a chance that we’ll get carried away in a sea of anger, frustration. We may lash out. We may be empowered to finally tell someone off. It all depends on you my dear. 


Venus, Mars, and Lessons in Boundaries


Both Venus and Mars are powerful planets that help shape our sense of self, Venus influencing our material and aesthetic needs, and Mars influencing our pride, our warring sense, our sense of accomplishment. With Venus in Taurus, the desire to cultivate a strong relationship to the body is enhanced, encouraged. We are striving to make more aligned choices for ourselves, so that our physical existence can be harmonized, gracious. Venus in Taurus asks for an enhanced awareness of form. 


Mars in Cancer forces the planet to re-work the way it processes anger. This is uncomfortable for the planet, as his normal pathways to success are blocked by Cancer’s spiky shell and stubborn claws. We move side to side rather than forward with Mars in Cancer, but perhaps this is just what we need. 


Both planets are asking us to reconnect with our sense of self, but in different ways. From the physical fertility of Venus to questions about anger from Mars, this is an opportunity for us to reroute, to redefine, and to gracefully weave a fresh set of boundaries, of standards for ourselves and our loved ones. The planets are always moving my darlings, and if we move in rhythm with them, we can come to a closer understanding of self. Whether you are wearing a crown of Venusian bull-horn, or draping yourself in Moonspun cloaks of Cancer, I hope you find a fresh sense of connectivity with Venus in Taurus and Mars in Cancer. 

Pluto Retrograde 2019

Pluto Retrograde 2019 
♇ Rx 23° ♑︎ - 20° ♑︎

April 24, 2019 - October 3, 2019

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Pluto stations retrograde today at 11:45am PST. This is an annual occurrence, which signifies a when we are able to adjust our relationship to power, and to cycle of death and rebirth in our lives.

Pluto is the planet of obsession, control, and revolution. Named after the god of the underworld, transits from Pluto signify change that is both personal as well as collective, and can bring powerful, sweeping change. 

This year, Pluto stations retrograde conjunct Saturn in Saturn, planet of self-mastery, responsibility, and restriction. This Pluto retrograde is clearly about the cultivation of stronger boundaries, and is a call to do some strict and stern housekeeping in the hallways of our hearts. Ask yourself how you participate in unhealthy, out of whack power struggles in your personal life. Are you the instigator of such scenarios? Or are you the recipient of someone else’s ire? This year, you must find ways to free yourself from such abuses (ones you inflict as well as ones inflicted upon you). This is part of the story of coming into your own power, which is part of our Saturn work this year. 

Receiving a loose square from the Sun conjunct Uranus in Taurus, the cosmic order we are receiving this year is to untangle ourselves from all unproductive engagements, and to do so will confidence, with visionary energy, as Sun conjunct Uranus imbues us with a unique perspective. This only comes once a year, my friends. It’s like we’ve got a small window onto the way things can be in the future, if we actually take the time now to be honest with ourselves about how we use and engage with power in our lives.

This is also a time for shadow examination, as Pluto and his underworld energy tends to bring up obscured trauma and truth from the depths of our psyche. This transit won’t be all about shocking ourselves into clarity, but rather, as the planet slowly retrogrades backwards from 23° Capricorn to 20° Capricorn, we are here asked to really acknowledge the pain we’ve locked away, to bring it up out into the light, and to carry it with us where we can see it. This is to be done in the name of understanding, and properly integrating, our deepest hurts. It is through this process of integration that we become more ourselves. 

Collectively, this is a time where many of us are feeling called to higher or more inventive spiritual beliefs, as this year’s Pluto retrograde occurs square Neptune, with Neptune as the focal point of a t-square. We’re being asked to do some collective heavy lifting as a society, with the t-square struck between Jupiter, Mars, and Neptune, expansion, war, and fantasy. 

This retrograde ends on October 3rd, 2019, so we’ve got some time to work through these themes. Dreams of utopia can lead us forward, but only if we engage philosophically, critically, and with the full range of tools we have cultivated thus far this year. Calls to save the world, save the environment, save each other, save ourselves, are getting louder. We can work together, Neptune implores us to. But this can only happen if we do the work of Pluto retrograde, examining all the dark recesses of the self, and cutting away the roots that rot, rather than give flower. 

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A Ritual for Spring

A RITUAL FOR SPRING


REQUIRED TOOLS: 

Yourself, your heart, mind, and spirit

A basket, bag, or coat pocket 

Pen & paper 

SUGGESTED BUT NEVER NECESSARY IF YOU DON’T HAVE THEM TOOLS:

Red, white, pink, or light green candles 

Red scarves, shawls, etc. for your altar 

Anything ram shaped (Aries)

Alcohol, water, or any other offering 

Citrine 


March 20, 2019 marks the beginning of Aries season. With a fresh astrological year yawning before us, the earth is now stirred from her cold winter dreams, and, like a lover fluttering their eyelids, the world begins to bloom. 

The Vernal Equinox is the initiation of spring. In the northern hemisphere, from where I write to you, we have all just endured the season of cold, of dark, of shadow. 

The astrology of this transition from winter to spring moves us from Capricorn time, the time of work, of turning inward in Saturnine diligence, through Aquarius season, a time where we’re encouraged to translate that discipline into Uranian inventiveness and community connectivity, to Pisces season, the season of the sublime, the shadow, the real. 

In seasonal shift, we find renewed force, both within ourselves and in the physical world around us. Living in this world too often cuts us off from the source of life, meaning our natural environment. Nothing would exist without her. Capitalism makes us forget this. But even if you live in a city, you are surrounded by a natural environment that you unconsciously interact with. It enters you and leaves you with each breath. 

In honor of the return of spring, I wanted to carve out a small ritual that anyone can do to mark the occasion.

Aries is a cardinal fire sign ruled by Mars. No one sign can be summed up in a sentence, but for our purposes, we can think of Aries as a new soul. The ram explores their environment with reckless abandon. No mountaintop is too jagged, no cliffside too steep, for these rugged creatures. When conflict arises, Aries rushes at it headlong, stopping at nothing until they reach a new perspective, new sense of understanding, or triumph over their challenger. 

Mars weaves a hot crown of horn around Aries’s temples. Mars is the patron planet of Aries season. We can take note of the bravery, the force, the warmth, the impulsivity of the sign and the planet, and try on these characteristics for ourselves at this time. Aries does not seek to dominate, but rather is driven by genuine curiosity, a soul-level need to understand everything under the Sun. 

March 20, 2019 brings us the initiation of Aries season, springtime, and the full moon in Libra, signaling to us that this is a time of simultaneous new beginning and letting go. We are all so many things at once. Just as the astrological weather indicates resolution and initiation, so too can we sit in those spaces of beginning and end. As above, so below, my darlings. 

Here are your instructions: 

    1. Gather the required tools (above). Take a walk today. Anywhere. Up the street, to a park, to the river, anywhere. Use your body to get there. Feel your feet connecting with the earth as you move. Imagine yourself as the ram on the cliff. As you walk, imagine yourself taking in energy from the Sun and Mars into your crown. Aries rules this part of the body. 

    2. Go somewhere new, take a route you don’t know. Aries encourages fearless exploration of the environment. 

    3. Find a place to settle in. Put your face toward the Sun. 

    4. Write yourself a letter. Write about the future first, then write about what’s to be released from the prior year. Write as little or as much as you see fit. There are no rules. Bulleted lists are as valid as rhyming couplets. Express what you contain. 

    5. Look around you. What catches your eye? Are there flowers? Fallen branches? Feathers? Stones? Unobtrusively, and with care, gather some items that speak to you. If you pull flowers or plants, be sure to ask permission from the plant first, and then thank it for its gift. This is important. Do not take more than you need, but be sure to take one thing that calls to you. Remember where you took your item from. 

    6. Go home. On a shelf or a corner of your bedroom floor, or your kitchen or washing machine—wherever you have room, wherever feels sacred, place the items you found outside, along with the letter you wrote yourself. You are building an altar. 

    7. Decorate the surface with other things that mean something to you. Pictures of loved ones, favorite places, pets. Anything red will do, to please Mars. Red wine will always help. While you’re building the altar, think about what you wrote in that letter to yourself. Your words are magick, carry magick weight. Imagine the future. 

    8. Seat yourself comfortably by the altar. There is no one way to do this, just get comfortable. Create space for yourself by taking in ten long breaths. Find a centered feeling, and still your mind. With each inhalation, you breathe in the future. With each exhalation, you purify and release from the old. Sit as long as you like in this space. You are cultivating an energetic spark. 

    9. In the next few days, return to the spot you took your items from, and bring an offering back to the earth. It could be the flowers or plants you harvested, returned intentionally to their place of origin. It could be something else natural that you want to give the earth. Make sure it is biodegradable and will bring no harm to the environment. We do this because we cannot only take from the earth without giving her something in return. Remember this. 

    10. Keep the letter you’ve written, if you like. Revisit it in Libra season, halfway through the year, and then again in Pisces season as the year winds down. Or, if you’re called to, burn it. Set it free. The choice is yours. The year is new. I believe in you.