in Gemini 23°43'
9:36 pm PT
Beyond Duality: The Depths of Expansion
by Sarah Faith Gottesdiener
This New Moon graces us just a few days before the start of the summer, a time when nature’s clock reminds us of warmth, vitality, and illumination. This is also a moment of contrast. The summer solstice being linked to the winter solstice happening on the other side of this planet reminds us that light and dark—and the in-between of them both—exist simultaneously. Energies, like emotions, often arise as a bouquet of multiples. Grief exists because of love, love exists because of grief, and sometimes, they show up together. Loss eventually shudders its way into meaning, perhaps into joy. It’s a paradoxical time in a paradoxical year: tension, conflict, and revelations found in unexpected places could have all been heightened since the Eclipses. Release is found through acceptance. This is a New Moon to embrace the strange.
Expansion would not exist without tension, loss, and reception. Magic is made when we can hold space for polarities when we hold duality in one hand, and a third way in the other. There is the situation, how we experience it, and how we perceive it. The relationship you have to the experience often determines an outcome. At the very least, it determines the quality of the experience, as well as whether or not it may alchemize and heal you.
A skilled witch must know which part of them is afraid of what they desire. They have to be able to understand the paradox inherent in the quest for what they want. That want, that need, is often linked to a wound, a fear, anxiety, a contrast. Ironically, when we get something we want, the shadow of the desire often occurs alongside the victory. Increased attention comes with increased scrutiny. As abundance increases, previously unknown scarcity wounds proliferate, or the fear of loss gets greater because there is more to lose. Every action comes with an equal, opposite reaction, and finding equilibrium is one part of a magical process. Often, the only way to heal the wound of contrast is to utilize the discomfort as an opportunity to adopt a different perspective. (And learn some nervous system regulation practices.) To encounter and respond to the fear or tension with love, compassion, or discipline often changes the entire landscape: the fear no longer becomes the entire terrain, with space around it, we realize it is merely part of a much larger picture. No avoidance, no resistance, no labels: how would that catalyze your growth? How might that clear up space? And what would you do with all that space?
What if everything occurring right now was part of larger spiritual lessons you were supposed to be learning right now? Without using dualistic language like “wrong” or “right,” what would the themes of those lessons be? Try this thought experiment: assign arbitrary and opposite labels to a current source of tension or resistance in your life. Does that change anything about how you might feel about or behave toward this tension? This is not about bypassing; this is about allowing the interpretations of our lives to enter into our consciousness in a different way, thus offering us expansion.*
We make choices all the time, especially when we think we aren’t. Any form of dualistic thinking we adhere to is a choice; sometimes it’s purely arbitrary and unconscious, and sometimes that choice simply matches the energy of the originating action. Our choices could reinforce the story we’ve told ourselves about who we are, what the world is, or what we are allowed to have or be. Sometimes, these choices are only residue from memories and emotional patterns that become quicksand and undertows if we are not careful. A lot of our anxiety comes from trying to avoid our anxiety. A lot of that avoidance stems from thinking we can’t fix or change that anxiety. The root of that might be the commitment to a belief that our anxiety or fears are “bad” or something “to fix,” instead of viewing them as neutral, as something that simply exists—maybe even something that can give us messages or help us heal.
— Excerpt from the 2023 Many Moons Lunar Planner. To read Sarah's exclusive, activities for this Gemini New Moon, get your copy of Many Moons 2023. The benefit edition is here. The digital edition is here.
*The Tibetan Buddhist practice of Lojong dives into this practice. For more on the practice of Lojong, read The Great Path of Awakening: The Classic Guide to Lojong, a Tibetan Buddhist Practice for Cultivating the Heart of Compassion by Jamgön Kongtrül.