[Collage by Shawnie Hamer | Original photography (dancer) by Kishin Shinoyama]
Hello dear collective, and welcome to the final full moon of 2020.
I firstly want to thank you all for being here with us this year—our first year together as collective.aporia. We have learned and created so much with you since our launch in April, and we couldn’t be more grateful for what we’ve accomplished together. We are so excited to move into 2021 with you all. If you haven’t already, please check out our upcoming workshops, submit to our first issue of *apo-press, and/or sign up for the upcoming Innisfree Workshop Series events. Also, all of our past 2020 workshops are available to rent or purchase in the commons!
Today’s full moon in Cancer marks the end of one of the most turbulent and bizarre years in modern history. 2020 pushed many of us to lock ourselves inside, both literally and figuratively. We were forced to shed distractions and labels, and to redirect our energies. Many of us had to look at ourselves (for the first time) without labels like job titles, routines, and to-do lists. Many of us experienced loss, grief, loneliness, fear, and frustration. Many things, many dreams, many people, were swept away by the destruction of this year, and this is not something that heals as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.
But, as life often reminds us, there were beautiful parts of 2020, as well. In isolation, many of us were able to see our authentic selves for the first time. We were able to be honest with ourselves about what we really want, what we value, who we hold dear. Some were able to come back to parts of themselves that had long been forgotten. Some created, some raged, some destroyed, some loved. Many found new ways of using their voices in support of important movements like #BlackLivesMatter. And all of us, as a collective, witnessed strength—within ourselves, and within our communities.
It was a complex and confusing year, which is why I want to keep this offering to you simple and sweet. It’s not an accident that this year’s Cold Moon comes in Cancer, a cardinal water sign ruled by the moon itself. This is the divine, wild mother energy, much like the High Priestess in tarot—deep, emotional, and intuitive. Cancers are also incredibly loving and loyal creatures. They will do anything to make sure that those they care about are safe and satisfied.
But like every sign, Cancers have a shadow side: becoming a martyr for those around them. Which is why combined with the Cold Moon—a moon of deep reflection and pause—we must ask ourselves today (& everyday, especially in 2021):
Am I giving myself and my dreams the same love that I give others?
Have you ever returned somewhere familiar after being away for a long time to find that, though nothing about the space changed, everything felt different because you had transformed? We can compare this feeling to the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn moving into Aquarius last week. On January 1st, the world will be the same—we will still be in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of war against the kyriarchy—but we, the collective, have shifted. The world will feel different, or maybe already does, not only because of what we’ve gone through together, but because that big Aquarius energy will be transforming us toward innovation and community. However, if we don’t stay grounded, if we don’t find ways to pause and contemplate, to find practical ways to love, that Aquarius energy can be harmful. It can make us cold, distant, and isolated from the beautiful complexities that make us human—the complexities that Cancer revels in.
This full moon asks us to stop here, in the stillness of a cold night, in the quietness of freshly fallen snow, and wrap ourselves in gratitude for all the things we’ve made it through. All the things we’ve accomplished—even if that was just surviving this year. Then, in the chill of the moonlight, we must promise ourselves to continue this ritual throughout this next year.
Set aside time and energy with the same diligence you do for others to do one thing that makes you feel love, support, and pride for yourself. For me, this often looks like making time to read, paint my nails, cook a good meal, or write. Whatever it is, know that you deserve it, and know that it will allow you to be fully present in the larger Aquarian-minded projects you might be cooking up for next year.
Tarot Reading | The World
[The World Card | Mary El Tarot by Marie White]
My heart is overjoyed that the guides have presented us with this card. The World is the end of the Major Arcana, and symbolizes the end of the Fool’s journey when we are able to find harmony with, and an understanding of, both the physical/natural world, as well as the spiritual one. As Rachel Pollack writes in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-awareness:
What can we say of an understanding, a freedom and rapture beyond words? The unconscious known consciously, the outer self unified with the forces of life, knowledge that is not knowledge at all but a constant ecstatic dance of being—they are all true and yet not true…When we have dissolved our isolated selves into that water lying beneath the Hanged Man’s glowing face we learn that true unity lies in movement.
The World card represents not just the ultimate balance between the realms we are a part of, but also a deep knowing that we are those realms. We are the mother, the father, and the child. We are humans with physical needs and desires, and we are spiritual beings capable of receiving divine inspiration and messages. We are limitless and complex. And after the year we’ve endured, a year filled with so many blocks and restrictions, this reminder is imperative to how we move forward. Because though it might not seem like it, we are constantly moving, and that is the key to life.
Everything in the universe moves, the Earth around the sun, the sun within the glazy, the galaxies in clusters, all cycling around each other. There is no centre, no place where we can say, ‘Here it all began, here it all stops.’ Yet the centre exists, everywhere, for in a dance the dancer does not move around any arbitrary point in space, but rather the dance carries its own sense of unity focused around a constantly moving, constantly peaceful centre. Nothing and everything all at once. (Pollack, p. 139)
Coming back to our full moon, the World card beautifully represents that necessary balance we must have moving into this year. If the Aquarian energy of the collective is the cosmic potential that surrounds the World Dancer, the Cancerian energy is the dancer themselves, moving like a river, loving and understanding the needs that current through their body from the top of their head to the bottoms of their firmly planted feet.
Remember to move, sweet collective, remember to dance, for that is where we will find our joy and balance in this important next phase for the planet.
With all my love.
Bibliomancy | "A Poem in which I Try to Express My Glee at the Music My Friend Has Given Me" by Ross Gay
—for Patrick Rosal
Because I must not
get up to throw down in a café in the Midwest,
I hold something like a clownfaced herd
of bareback and winged elephants
stomping in my chest,
I hold a thousand
kites in a field loosed from their tethers
at once, I feel
my skeleton losing track
somewhat of the science I’ve made of tamp,
feel it rising up shriek and groove,
rising up a river guzzling a monsoon,
not to mention the butterflies
of the loins, the hummingbirds
of the loins, the thousand
dromedaries of the loins, oh body
of sunburst, body
of larkspur and honeysuckle and honeysuccor
bloom, body of treetop holler,
oh lightspeed body
of gasp and systole, the mandible’s ramble,
the clavicle swoon, the spine’s
trillion teeth oh, drift
of hip oh, trill of ribs,
oh synaptic clamor and juggernaut
swell oh gutracket
blastoff and sugartongue
syntax oh throb and pulse and rivulet
swing and glottal thing
and kick-start heart and heel-toe heart
ooh ooh ooh a bullfight
where the bull might
take flight and win!
[Source: Bringing the Shovel Down (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011) // Poetry Foundation]
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