[Collage by Shawnie Hamer | Original photography by the Bohemian Collective]
Hello, dear collective. How are you holding up? I’ll be honest, the last few weeks have been something of a breaking point for me. Leo season is over and I’ve felt my lion’s optimism transform into Virgo’s sharp criticism. My fiery passion and love for humanity has mutated into hours of disgust and disdain, especially in light of Jacob Blake, the hatred and actions of white supremacist militias, and the consistently disturbing words of defense for both.
But, alas, just like every sign, extreme criticism is only the shadow side of dynamic Virgos. For all of their judiciousness, they are also badass achievers. They get stuff done, and we need this energy more than ever, with the protests raging on, the U.S. presidential election around the corner, and Black and Brown bodies still being murdered in the streets. We need the undying focus of our dear Virgos, even when we are heartbroken or just flat out done with humans.
Virgos, as sharp as they seem, are mutable Earth signs, meaning that they have a flexibility and fluidity that other signs do not. They have their feet on the ground, but can adapt in practical ways. The full moon on the 2nd is a Pisces moon, also a mutable sign. Pisces are the eldest of the signs, and being a mutable water, are able to expand and imagine emotions and dreams. These two energies colliding this week tells me that this moon is asking us to work hard, dream harder, and stay on our toes in the process. We cannot alone survive in the psychic dream world that Pisces resides in, and we can’t sustain in the purely analytical or logical. We must combine the two to practically execute the new world that we dream up together.
This is especially apt considering this full moon is also the Corn Moon. The Corn Moon is unique in that it only happens every three years when the September full moon occurs at the beginning of the month, allowing the Harvest Moon to appear at the beginning of October (near the Autumnal Equinox) and the Blue Moon on Halloween/Samhain. The Corn Moon is a moon of abundance, home, hearth, and preparation for winter. It is a much needed breath and a small prayer of gratitude before the next leg of the journey.
Though many are keeping their eyes focused on January 1st, ready to put this dumpster-fire-of-a-year in the rearview mirror, this moon and season change (to me) seems like a pre-new beginning. A student at heart, this month has always been so transformative, creating a shift in my mindset to prepare for new lessons.
And though it looks a lot different this year, with students sitting in front of screens instead in the coziness of classrooms, it IS a new school year. And even if you aren’t a parent or student yourself, I’m sure you are feeling the differences in other ways: instead of going to work, you might be home. Instead of planning holiday travels, you might be mentally preparing for holidays without family. It is sad and weird and seemingly never ending. But I do believe that this full Corn Moon is reminding us that, no matter how different things are, we can always find new ways to be grateful. We can always dream up new ways of coming (or making) homes.
And isn’t home always finding new forms? Home is not just house you live in, but also your body, your spirit, your community, your creativity. Though the idea of home in this pandemic, with so many of us in solitude, might feel claustrophobic, these homes are ours, and that alone is a gift and a privilege. In this world of dictators and fascists, we have a place that can all at once be sanctuary and workplace—a truth they can’t take from us.
So, how do we remind ourselves of this in the uphill battles? In last month’s workshop, Marie Conlan invited us to engage in delight as a form of extreme presence. During this conversation, she invoked Audre Lorde’s “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” in which Lorde writes:
For the erotic is not a question only of what we do; it is a question of how acutely and fully we can feel in the doing.
Once we know the extent to which we are capable of feeling that sense of satisfaction and completion, we can then observe which of our various life endeavors bring us closest to that fullness. The aim of each thing which we do is to make our lives and the lives of our children richer and more possible.
Within the celebration of the erotic in all our endeavors, my work becomes a conscious decision, a longed-for bed which I enter gratefully and from which I rise up empowered….
I am speaking here of the necessity for reassessing the quality of all the aspects of our lives and of our work, and of how we move toward and through them. The very word erotic comes from the Greek word eros, the personification of love in all its aspects - born of Chaos, and personifying creative power and harmony.
How can we practically and methodically dream up and execute what fulfills us so that we (and our work) can emerge rested, renewed, and ready? From my understanding of this moon’s energy, Lorde’s words, and Marie’s wisdom, it is by creating routines that allow for delight—which is to say, love.
In an attempt to test this hypothesis, I accepted the challenge this morning. I was in the shower, picking imaginary fights with my partner for leaving his hair in the drain, focusing on the tasks I should or must complete. I decided right there to create a moment of delight. I began singing a song. Afterwards, instead of sitting at my desk right away, I made time for yoga and meditation. I made banana bread so that the house would smell delicious when I began work. I sat in the sun to write this to you. I purposefully shifted towards satisfaction, and by doing so, realized that I had been completely disconnected from my body and spirit the last few weeks. I am grieving this now, but I am also so relieved to have found myself again.
I don’t tell you this as some kind of pep talk, or to make it seem like I know at all what I’m doing. I don’t think any of us really know what we are doing at the moment. But I do share this as an example of the small rituals this Corn Moon offers us: momentary reprieve and reconnection.
When I hear the word corn, I can’t help but think of a hearty meal around a warm table with people I love. And, as Darrah Hewlett writes of Virgos (represented by the image of the Virgin), “In astrology, the virgin is one who serves others. She bears a staff of wheat, which stands for ‘the utilization of ideas and skills to benefit (nourish) the world.’” This is not to say we need this kind of comfort (food) all the time. I believe it is important, especially right now, for us to shed our comfort zones and level-up as allies. But we always need, as Lorde explains, to observe which of our various life endeavors bring us closest to that fullness. Even in the difficult or the mundane, we must be nourished.
For this Full Corn Moon in Pisces, I challenge you to practice making room for dreams—dreams of what the world can be, dreams of what you can be, dreams of what your art can be—and then methodically go after those dreams with Virgo’s tenacity. Remember that this doesn’t always have to be huge, global dreams. The key to sustaining in the work is to dream up fulfillment in the everyday. How can your mornings bring you joy? How can you light small sparks of loving delight in new routines?
Tarot Reading: 7 of Cups
This is one of my favorite cards in this deck. Marie White painted a black wolf to represent our wildness and subconscious—this deep, psychic part of ourselves that we often fear, or are taught to fear. But what if we coexist with her? We might not want her to run wild all the time, but she deserves to be present on the other side of the balance. She deserves to help lead us through the forest.
The 7 of Cups is a card of vision/illusion. Vision if you are willing to put the energy and grind into manifesting your intentions, illusion if you sit back and let the dream pass you by. As White writes in the deck’s accompanying text:
Reality has laws but they can be bent, like light, by changing your self. In becoming a master of your subconscious you seek to shape your reality in accordance with what you want to achieve in life, to reach your highest potential. It is a temperate theory; it isn’t just about changing yourself and it isn’t just about changing reality but a little of both meeting somewhere in the middle. To acknowledge that reality isn’t what it seems, it is actually very nuanced and complex, and at any given time our consciousness can only wakingly perceive a small portion of it, like the visible light-wave spectrum, there is much more that you can’t see.
This card alongside the full Corn Moon tells me that we might be viewing our world, our reality, and ourselves in a tunnel. We might have blinders on, unable to integrate the Piscean energy of dreaming beyond the confines of survival. And the wolf might be the part of ourselves, our fierce, passionate, creative wild that is being locked away as a result of this perception. Trust yourself (which is also the wolf) to create the most exalted and fulfilling path.
As always, I’m sending you love and glittering sparkles of delight in the coming cycle.
Bibliomancy: pg. 92 from Envelope Poems by Emily Dickinson
Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic As Power by Audre Lorde
Shawnie Hamer / founder of collective.aporia
© 2019-2020 collective.aporia