[Collage by Marina Molares]
Once upon a time, we were taught that to be undone is to be weak. To be undone, to open, to hold, is vulnerability; it is feminine, which is not as valued or as productive in the eyes of patriarchy. To be loving, intimate, & empathetic, to truly open your heart to the world, with all of its beauty & pain, is to remember our connection to all things.
To be undone is to know our wounds, & the wounds of our global family. It also allows us to see the ways we have wounded others, knowingly or unknowingly. How we have wielded or abused power. In the capitalist mindset of "self-promotion at all costs," this is not good for business. It interrupts the climb up the ladder; it forces energy horizontally.
While talking to my dear friend Marie yesterday, we laughed over the fact that some folks learn when they are children how to pretend that have their shit together. “I didn’t learn how to do it until I was at least 18,” she said. I am not sure when it happened for me, but I know it is a practice that I’ve long sustained. It is the hilarious inside joke of humanity, because no matter how much we want to pretend, none of us really know what we are doing.
But what we don’t realize is this practice of preservation, this facade we tediously construct, is actually quite harmful. It isn’t really preservation at all, but a practice in isolation. To be fully vulnerable, with yourself & others, is an act of bravery, one that society doesn’t prepare us for. We are not taught the language of admittance, how to say, “I need you to see me, & to love me, while understanding that I don’t have all the answers.”
I also want to say that preservation is sometimes necessary. There are times we need to go within, to hide our vulnerability, especially in the face of oppressors. But when this mode of survival becomes our automatic setting, we deprive ourselves. We cut ourselves off from of true love.
Don’t let Hollywood hang heavy on this term. True love isn’t just romantic or sexual. True love can take many shapes: friends, lovers, partners, mentors, family. But one of the most important forms—and arguably the most ignored—is that of true self-love.
Do you truly love yourself, reader?
I want to be honest with you: my answer to this question depends on the day, & sometimes even the hour. What I have realized over the last few years of working on my mental health & spirituality is that getting myself to a place where the answer to this question is a resounding “YES” is a lifelong practice. It requires constant nurturing, constant failure, & constant returning. Because we are all worth fighting for.
I have also learned that this is something we don’t have to do alone. By releasing facades & letting others truly see me, all of my scars & my flaws, all of my strengths & talents, I found true love in my community. People who hold me near the light in the darkest times, & who do not let me become complacent when I begin to slip back into old patterns. They encourage me to hold onto my manifestations, & to release unauthentic/harmful personas.
& this kind of love, of creation & action, is what Luna gives us today. Today’s full moon is in Leo, & as a Leo myself, I can tell you that we love fiercely. We want to protect, but also to push. Leo energy sees the best in you, & will do anything to help you see it too. The love of this full moon is big & bold, & demands your respect. Which is to say, it demands you to respect yourself.
This full moon also arrives in Aquarius season, which is very different energy, but one just as stubborn. As Gala Mukomolova writes, Aquarius and Leo are fixed signs that sustain their elements, air and fire, while “overseeing the house of collective wishes and the house of self-expression respectively.” Aquarius is the philosopher, re-imagining the world, theorizing how to achieve societal change. Leo often enacts those ideals, but through more of an individual or communal lens. Leo works from the loving heart, Aquarius works from the psychic third eye.
With these two fixed signs coming together, we are being asked to examine, evolve, & release the ways we dream up love & relationships, especially the one with ourselves. Where has disconnection festered between these theories/facades of the self & love? Where have we hardened or built walls? When did we decide that loving others meant that we have to be pillars of strength without any vulnerabilities of our own? How can we be okay, in both theory & practice, of becoming undone in order to find our true strength? How can we ditch notions of perfection in order to find true love?
This full moon is also called the Snow Moon or the Cleansing Moon. When I think of fresh, powdery snow, especially this time of year, I think of calming renewal. The peace & the silence. The balance of dark & light—moving out of introspective winter & into the creativity of spring. The last big snow of the season is one of purification, but also one of hope. It reminds us that the work we do now, in the quiet places of our soul, helps nurture all that will grow in just a few short weeks.
Chani Nicholas writes:
Love means little without care, consistency, and diverse ways of being. Love is freedom and needs room to express itself however it wants to. Love never conforms, contorts, or stays in the shapes that don’t mold themselves to it. Love needs our respect, reverence, and to be treated like the regal life-force that it is. Love needs to know that we have the courage to protect it, the roar to ward off any harm-doers to it, and the desire to be all in for it…Our creative energy needs our love, encouragement, and support to fully flourish.
Don’t be fooled. To allow ourselves to be undone, to give ourselves permission to be open, to be vulnerable, is a creative act. It is the most creative act, because it requires thinking outside of oppressive systems. It allows us release harmful notions of the self, to be authentic, & to manifest the changes we wish to see in ourselves & in the world. Most importantly, it allows us to create true love, for ourselves & for our community.
What beautiful art we can make together, in love.
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come. –Rabindranath Tagore
Many people are afraid of the Death card in tarot, but what they don’t realize is that this card can sometimes be one of the most freeing. The Death card is a sign of ending, of release. The cycle is over & it is time to move on, to create anew.
The Death card in regards to this full moon is pretty straight forward: we must let these facades we have created of & for ourselves die. By releasing them with gratitude, by letting them be decomposed under the fresh snow, our true selves will have nutrients they need to grow & thrive in love.
Marie White writes:
To go into Death is to go into this dark place, be it in the water of oblivion or the water of your own subconscious. As you descend you shed your sins, your guilt, the pieces of clothing that make up your life until your reach the bottom. Naked, you can see yourself for what you really are…This dark night of the soul when there is nothing else, no lies, no delusions, just the clear beacon of truth… who you are, your purpose in life, your vehicle of redemption.
With this full moon, Aquarius asks us to suspend ourselves in this heady darkness, to truly see ourselves & the beacons of our souls. To let the old ways die so we can re-imagine the world. Leo asks us to rise from that darkness, full of fire & creativity, full of love for yourself & your pride. To move boldly towards the light to start anew.
To not just dream of true love, but to enact it, fiercely.
Bibliomancy | excerpt from Page 10 from Agua Viva by Clarice Lispector
A new era, this my own, and it announces me right away. Am I brave enough? For now I am: because I come from the suffering afar, I come from the hell of love but now I am free of you. I come from afar—from weighty ancestry. I who come from the pain of living. And I no longer want it. I want the vibration of happiness. I want the impartiality of Mozart. But I also want inconsistency. Freedom? it’s my final refuge, I forced myself to freedom and I bear it not like a talent but with heroism: I’m heroically free. And I want the flow.
Cherokee Billie Spiritual Advisor
The Mary-El Tarot: Landscapes of the Abyss by Marie White
Shawnie Hamer / founder of collective.aporia
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