August Full Moon Lunar Eclipse
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
Happy Moonday and welcome to the Full Moon of August!
It is a Full Moon, on a Monday, ruled by La La La Lovely Luna herself. It is full on 11:11 in the morning; make a wish! Make three! Then a partial lunar eclipse starts ten minutes later. Be still. Take 11 deep breaths, all the way up from your toes to the top of your head.
The Moon brings up so much. Actuals and metaphors, the perceptions of a perception of a perception. She is everything and nothing, all at once—she can be a cipher, a channel, or a container. She’s the mirror that reflects everything in the world and a subversive alchemist: showing us the rays of the Sun channeled through space and time. She’s a catalyst, a potent prompt, or an extra in the background. She makes me consider how we are talking about the concepts, granular and abstract, of time and interiors and emotions and gravity and energy and water, and the Earth and the elements and worshipping them and working with them. She shows how we, too, can be everything and nothing all at once.
She makes me think about darkness and light. And everything in between.
With an eclipse, we can’t not talk about light and darkness, about the obscuring of both, across the universe’s vast stage. Lunar eclipses occur between one and four times a year, when our Earth's shadow blocks the Sun's light, which otherwise reflects off of the Moon. There are three different kinds. This will be a partial eclipse, visible in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Think of this as us (Earth) and our shadow, falling across the Sun (the self, life), as shown on the surface on the Moon, the mirror to us all.
We can also take these metaphors a bit further when thinking about higher messages. We have the Sun, our consciousness, the Moon, our subconscious, and the Earth (the collective) all in a line, with our consciousness’ programming being obstructed momentarily. A shadow across our emotions and feelings. A chance to go deeper, then come up even higher before. Traditionally, Lunar Eclipses, which only occur during a Full Moon, bring about internal change. Later this month, we’ll have a Solar Eclipse, which traditionally brings about external change. It might be useful for you to think back to the last set of Eclipses 6 months ago, in March. What has changed for you since then? Think back to a year ago, when there was a set of Eclipses in September. What has changed for you since then? What still needs to change or be addressed in a different way?
The metaphors of eclipses are portals, windows, doors, openings and endings.
Bumpy carts being pulled by excited pink llamas, magic carpet rides that appear in dreamtime, the rug being pulled out from under you. Or you, finally yanking that old tattered curtain off the wall to let more and different light in.
From a practical perspective, implementing mental and physical care is especially imperative during this time. Drink way more water than you think you need. Double-down on your sleep. Scale back on your social media time and screen time in general, if possible. Take restful breaks, and give yourself (and those around you) more time on tasks and important projects. Refrain from reactions—pause before responding. Take notes of your thoughts, inspirational flashes, bright ideas, inclinations and intuitions. This might also be an opportune time to kick an unhelpful habit—I always recommend bundling breaking bad habits, or starting new ones, with cosmic timing.
During this Full Moon, we can’t not think about the collective, for one of the archetypes of Aquarius, the water bearer, is one that serves the collective. The Sun is in the sign of Leo, which is ruled by the Sun, the sign of the self. Here we are, trying to rise up into our best selves that can weave the most dangerously compassionate, enduring, uniquely creative webs into the world.
The Tarot card that is associated with the sign of Aquarius is The Star: one of the most beautiful, comforting cards to receive in a reading. The Star reminds us that to heal ourselves is to heal others. When one truly decides to live out the larger project of one’s life authentically, this ripples out in service of the collective.
What gifts are you giving? What life projects are you ready to begin at this time?
It’s a sparkling summer moon, when we are more apt to be outside, our bright eyes opened later and later by the heat and sharp stars, glittering pinpoints in the sky. The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls it the Sturgeon Moon, but this Full Moon is also called the Corn Moon, or the Grain Moon. We’ve just begun August, a month about harvesting, honoring the Earth, nature, fire, and communing with sunlight. Some Pagans call this Moon the Barley Moon: this was the traditional time when grain was harvested. What is ready to be harvested in your life now?
The most trusted Witch teachers I know do not advise working spells around eclipses. Why? The energy can be volatile, too much unknown hurtling down the slide at the playground, too many messages ping-ponging around the ether. Now might be the time to rest, relax, and receive messages. To recognize, honor, and give thanks and gratitude for all that you have, and all that is coming to you. You might want to spend a few hours writing down and speaking out loud all that you are grateful for in your life. You could light a candle, slip into a bath, and thank yourself for all you have accomplished this year. You could spend time writing beloveds thank you postcards, telling them exactly how wonderful you think they are and why, or sending encouraging letters to anti-fascist politicians or progressive organizations you admire.
The daring amongst us might want to use this eclipse energy to throw ourselves, slingshot-like, into unknown arenas, to take a giant energetic leap. By all means, if it is time for you to do spell work, go for it. Only you know yourself.
The prompt from my workbook, Many Moons, is to spend time with your guides. Also referred to as Spirit Guides, Higher Powers, Source, or your intuition. To spend concentrated time alone with yourself, getting back to yourself, reacquainting yourself with your power, with the electricity that flows through you, heart to head and back again. To inquire both within and above. To feel into, to receive into, what is present now, and what needs to shift or change.
Angels and guides come in all different forms. Some come in dreams. Others in meditative visions. Some show up as voices that you can hear inside your body, but are not you. Some show up as sensations; the hair on your neck stands up, certain parts of your body are energized and tingle as if by an outside force. Sometimes the temperature changes; you might get colder, or hotter, depending. Some people I know interact with spirit as physical objects, or animals: a feather in their path, a lizard on a branch, the line from the song on the radio that rings out clear as day, that person you needed to run into just in the nick of time, right before you needed that job or that roommate lead or that solid affirmation. Maybe Spirit comes through to you in animal communication, through the Earth, while meditating with crystals, listening to music, playing music, painting, running, swimming or submerged in water, taking a shower, or hugging trees. There is no cookie cutter way to receive messages from your guides, but there are no limits to how to access them. Other realms are around us at all times.
Messages may be very, very specific, or a bit more abstract. The trick is to listen and to be aware of messages coming through. It might sound like you. It might BE you! Your inner voice, your inner spirit. You from a different time, you from the future. The point is to act on these messages.
Are there any recurring messages coming through to you that you must act on?
What are some messages that have been coming through to you— for weeks, months, or years, that it is time, post-eclipse, to act on?
We can also call our guides our muse, or inspiration. Artists sure do. Real artists also know they never run out of original, personal ideas, because they are close to Source. They curl up their ears to Source, promising to listen, and Source promises that if they use the ideas Source gives them, they will never run out. These artists don’t repurpose other images on the internet, plagiarize others’ words, or trace other artists’ work. Why would they? Spirit has their back, and Spirit always comes through. They make their own. They create their own. The universe has assured them, much like the overflowing rivulets of healing water in the Ace of Cups, that the more they give of their true self, the more they will receive. The water bearer in the Star Key pours out her water, her inspiration, her offerings, knowing that is a part of her healing process and her magical power.
Is it time to get out those images, ideas, sentences have been knocking about in your brain, your journals, underneath your eyelids? Time for the world to see?
Channeling certainly comes in different forms. An entity may overtake one’s body, changing the vocal patterns and physicality of the reader (think Whoopi in the movie Ghost). Frequently, when I channel, I do not remember exactly what is being said during a reading. I’m there, but the messages coming through are just that: coming through my body/voice/communication. The first time I wrote the workbook as coming through very quickly and easily, last time the experience was quite different. I knew intuitively I had everything I had to say, but it felt a lot more like work. Sometimes cultivating inspiration takes work. (Think: 8 of Pentacles card.)
Where have you slacked on cultivating your inspiration? Do you keep a journal or folder on your computer desktop where you write all your ideas down? Is it time to revisit this, to force on yourself time and space where spirit/inspiration can come through?
Part of cultivating messages and Spirit is working with them. Messages come through to everyone as a gift, and part of the gift to the greater consciousness is sharing them. Because, gentle reader, the purpose of Allah, or Diana, or Kali, or Jesus, or Buddha, or Ishtar, or Hecate, or Archangel Michael or your late great Aunt Rose or other guides that come through with no names, the purpose is to help the collective. To use your energy, your body, your unique gifts, talents, and charisma as a conduit to serve the greater good. The human collective is more vast than you could ever know. More invisibly intertwined than you could ever see with your naked eyes. The grid of light, hardship, love, and loss that weaves us all together. The domino effect of inspiration and wordless collaboration that is endlessly more important than the money in your bank account, the amount of “likes” that have been counted on the internet, or how many pages of unpaid labor your artist CV goes on for. It is real and it is vital and some people call it "soul" or "authentic" and that’s the point, really.
Your guides are here to help with all this.
Hands down, across the board, one must be relaxed to access Spirit. Breath work and meditation help with this. In Power of the Witch, Laurie Cabot introduces the reader to the alpha state. In Opening to Channel, Sanaya Roman also gives many step-by-step instructions in how to access messages.
If bolstering connection to Spirit is something of no interest to you, then at this time, reflect on you + we. I + us. Pinpoint what you need to cultivate to get your voice out there stronger, to touch more people with your love. Reach out to a group or non-profit you’ve wanted to help out, do research on ways that your talents can help others. Connect with people you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe, together, you can do a tangible activity that will create positivity for the whole.
Tarot Cards to Meditate on: The Star, Strength, the Tower, the World
At this time, you may wish to pull cards and/or journal on one, some, or all of these questions:
How are my unique gifts of service to the collective?
How am I of service, daily, weekly, in an ongoing manner?
Does my community need to take up more or less time, space, and energy in my life?
What is my unique gift to the future of the planet?
Is this connected in any way to my own healing?
Where must I begin acting around those gifts?
What other messages am I receiving at this time?
What doors do I feel are ready to opened, and which chapters are ready to be over?
What must I facilitate, in terms of mind, body, spirit, to do so?
How can Spirit, my guides, nature, or my community help me?
Where can I reach out for help or support?
How must I help myself?
Happy Full Moon!
—Excerpted from Many Moons. Buy here.
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