Tuesday, December 12th
In Sagittarius 20°40'
3:31 pm PT
Portals of Love: Accessibility Creates A More Loving World
by Barry Lee
It’s the last New Moon of the year, and you might be feeling anything but new. Deep exhaustion is a common occurrence at this time; the longer nights encourage us to dream and rest. 2023 had a lot of twists and turns, and this New Moon might simply be a moment to get up to speed with yourself. Now is the time to turn inward: It’s a fertile time to garner clarity on what experiences and lessons to summon for the future. To welcome in all the support needed for the year ahead, introduce systems, practices, and habits that can help you now, in this current moment. The astrological glyph for Sagittarius—the season and lunar phase we are in—is an arrow; the theme of forward movement is loud. How can we take what we’ve learned from this past year and move forward, truly? What are we still carrying that we must let go of, and what do we want to take with us? What insights have come to us to better help us move forward with more ease? Each day is a fresh start to practice, play, recalibrate, and get closer to our true needs.
If it’s hard for you to express your deepest needs, I understand. I was born with a rare syndrome called “Nager Syndrome,” which caused me to have multiple surgeries as a child to improve my physical mobility. Being disabled means I have to try my best to remain conscious of my accessibility needs and communicate them clearly to others—frequently. This requires a strong connection to my body. For the longest time though, being in my physical body meant that I was in pain. Pain from surgeries I had as a child. Emotional pain from people being ableist toward me or asking me invasive questions about my facial disfigurement. This pain made me leap out of my body for so long as a protection mechanism. Numbing out wasn’t protecting me though. I wasn’t present with my loved ones. I couldn’t understand and communicate my boundaries. Physical pain that needed to be attended to was avoided. It took years to really get to a place of listening to my body enough to figure out what my needs are, which is also a continuous practice. Only in the last few years, as I focus on my healing, have I acknowledged the truth that I wasn’t fully present in my body. Presence takes time, effort, and compassionate navigation.
As a disabled person, I must advocate for my needs to survive in a world that doesn’t consider them. Not everyone will listen to my needs or meet them. Not every space is a safe one or one that considers the spectrum of disabled bodies. As much as we may take the time and intention to communicate how others can love us more, we all know that sometimes it isn’t always reciprocated. That doesn’t mean to stop advocating for ourselves—it just means we might have to manage our expectations and our emotions.
Accessibility is important, not only for us individually but for the people we surround ourselves with. Our needs are important; they help us move through the world in our own unique way. With the end of the year approaching, slow down and notice if some of your basic needs are being met—by yourself, and by others. What are your access needs? Have you taken the time to ask if your loved ones, coworkers, or family members also have specific access needs? Interdependence means we belong to one another. Showing up means accepting all of our parts—the vulnerable parts, the parts that might be sensitive, the parts we were told were “high maintenance,” the wounded parts, the disabled parts, and the shiny parts that long to surface.
— Excerpt from the 2023 Many Moons Lunar Planner. To read the rest of Barry's exclusive essay and and their Portal of Love: A New Moon Ritual, get your copy of Many Moons.
Order your copy of the 2024 edition HERE!
Barry Lee is a Disabled, Nonbinary, and Queer multi-disciplinary Artist based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Lee’s work is colorful yet intentional, making sure that their work is filled with symbolism and thorough thought true to the projects at hand, whether that is for a client or for themself. Connect with Lee on Instagram @barryleeart and online at barryleeart.com