Wednesday, November 23rd
in Sagittarius 1°38'
2:58 pm PST
Content warning: This essay discusses anxiety and mental health.
We did it, friends! We made it through Eclipse season to this enlivening New Moon. Under the dark sky of this lunation, we’re being asked to ground and to process the shake-ups—and honestly, the emotional shakedowns—that many of us are finally seeing the other side of. If you somehow escaped this Eclipse season unscathed, I hope you celebrate your resolve and grace. For the rest of us, we can accept the invitation of this time to reconnect with our instincts, tie up loose ends with a different perspective, and set our sights on something else. We are being asked to detangle our intuition from our anxiety, our awareness from our identity. It’s time to declare what is coming with us into the new year—and what we’re ready to leave behind in the remaining months of 2022. We are being called upon to turn towards hope.
First, we must take post-Eclipse inventory and see where closure is needed. A wise friend once said that sometimes closure is just what you need to say to yourself said by somebody else. As you take inventory of the debris and fresh truths revealed by Eclipse season, pause and ask yourself:
Where am I experiencing disillusionment when it comes to my beliefs?
What facets of my life have holes that need mending?
What lingering questions need answers?
Where, and how, can I give myself closure?
If you are greeting this post-Eclipse-New-Moon fraught with anxiety or its co-conspirators (panic, a touch of hypervigilance, or thought spirals, to name a few), know that you’re not alone. Eclipses bring change and change is uneasy. I have been anxious for as long as I can remember and in light of the last few years, I don’t know anyone else who hasn’t gotten to know anxiety on an intimate level, whether cognitive or chemical. Anxiety can steal and drain, it is tiresome and cunning. Anxiety takes a feeling that began rooted in deep relation to your needs and morphs into thought patterns and beliefs that can hold you back and demand you shrink yourself. Olivia Sudjic wrote in her essay Exposure that anxiety is “like a child holding her hands over her face as a mask and thinking that, because she’s blinded herself, she now can’t be seen.” The kindest thing I can say about anxiety is that it is a false friend, a teacher whose lessons we’ve outgrown.
Anxiety’s inability to be seen, or accepted, as an entity separate from ourselves can make us feel as if we are two halves, not unlike the ancient Greek myth of this New Moon’s sign. Anxiety will fill whatever parts of ourselves we let it, and if we’re not curious and compassionate towards its presence, we can never fully integrate our brightest spots.
It’s important to remember that while anxiety can illuminate areas of our lives that need care and compassion, it isn’t the Sun—or the Moon, for that matter. Anxiety is a subject for reflection, not the source material for our true selves.
What if we took the momentum and fire of this New Moon and applied it to our anxieties? What if we prioritized hope over worry without bypassing our fears? We all deserve to live in unconditional and indefinite hope for ourselves.
Anxiety and hope share an ethereal nature: hope can fall apart in your hands if you try and quantify it. Hope is not an either/or concept. Hopeful people are in-between people, people who are relatively free of absolutes because they know you can’t be hopeful about something if you can’t acknowledge the pain that fertilized the need for change.
Binaries are boring at best and incredibly harmful at worst: this is true when we think about healing and re-framing too. Instead of fixating on the dualism of well and unwell, of calm and anxious, consider how you can re-approach your anxiety with a hopeful hand. How can you transmute your burden of consciousness into a gift of self-understanding? Where does your intuition speak louder than your insecurities? What can those spaces tell you about your true self and what you’re ready to embrace now and next year? Self-exploration is an act of hope — and hope, as Mariame Kaba said, is a discipline.
— To read the rest of Maddie Coleman's New Moon in Sagittarius essay—including her journaling prompts and spell for grounding—download the November Guide. Looking for lunar insights and magic making opportunities like this? Order the 2023 Many Moons Lunar Planner!
Maddie Coleman is a sometimes-writer avoiding direct sunlight in Los Angeles, California. You can subscribe to her newsletter wait, have you read this? for monthly-ish book recommendations and a lot of exclamation points.
Otherwise, you can find her in the Moon Studio inbox as studio manager.