"The Company of Wolves" by Chris Hagan
[Original collage illustration inspired by the popular short story and film by Angela Carter]
Happy New Year, collective.aporia! And what a year we have ahead of us. My name is Shawnie, and I am the founder of the collective. One of my resolutions this year is to give our global community full moon offerings. I am making these offerings to you with the intention that they might help us think about the lunar cycle through the lens of the collective. These writings are just one perspective, one translation/meditation, about how the cosmos could be working on us as individual artists and thinkers, as well as a community of creative social justice warriors.
Before we begin, I want to briefly explain how these offerings will be structured. Firstly, I will be using the term “artist” frequently. Even if you are not a professional artist, I am still talking to you. I truly believe that we, the collective working to re-imagine the world through creativity and community, are all artists. I also believe that every person is capable of art. Please check out our manifesto to read more about these philosophies.
I want to be transparent that I am not an expert in Astrology, and am still very much a student. These writings are my own meditations on information provided from various experts that I study and trust. I will give credit to those sources at the end of each writing for further exploration.
I will also offer you a tarot reading to accompany each full moon. I have been reading the cards for about five years, and have found them to be an extremely powerful tool for visualizing and translating energies that are already present in our lives. They often give language to the ineffable struggle of being a human in our world. I will be using the Mary-El Tarot deck for these readings.
Lastly, I will include a poem chosen through bibliomancy (randomly opening a page from a book as a divination practice) as an invocation of our larger artistic community. I will use different books and sources for this throughout the year. Please feel free to send poems or texts to email@example.com to be included in this practice.
Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook to receive updates about full moon offerings, as well as our workshops.
Deep bow & well wishes to you in the New Year!
We begin 2020 with a Full Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse at 20 degrees of Cancer, opposing the Sun at 20 degrees Capricorn. Cancer, a Cardinal Water sign, is ruled by the Moon itself, and is deeply emotional, psychic, and imaginative. Cancer needs to be loved, needs to feel safe and wanted. This full moon in Cancer asks us to reflect on the wells from which we drink. Asks us to be aware of our sanctuaries, the spaces we make for ourselves, and our communities. Are we being fulfilled by this well? Are we thirsty for something more? What populations around us are unable to create spaces for safety and nourishment? How can the homes we build make room for those people to drink?
Capricorn, on the other hand, is all business; a Cardinal Earth sign ruled by Saturn. Capricorns are known for their logistics and practicality. They know how to get things done, and how to set forth a pragmatic and efficient plan to accomplish goals. As Café Astrology writes, “Cancer represents the origin, and Capricorn represents the goal.”
The lunar eclipse in Cancer is forcing us to take on Capricorn’s critical eye to identify the aspects of our home/emotional life that are unstable, inconsistent, or no longer serving us. What are we attaching ourselves to? What are we afraid to let go of?
Attachment is a very human and very natural sensation, especially when it comes to our nests. However, this lunar eclipse is asking us to dig deep, in the back of our closets and hearts and minds, in order to clear out the clutter. Imagine how much space you’ll create by doing so.
It is important to note here that certain attachments have often served us immensely in the past. Even if something is no longer useful, it can still be difficult to release because of the ways it has saved us. Don’t be upset with yourself for clutching onto these things, or be hard on yourself for wanting to keep the things that have begun to make you heavy. Honor how these attachments have served you in the past, and notice what sensations arise as you loosen, and eventually open, your grip on them.
Ultimately, this full moon is shedding her silver light on a deep conflict that is ever present in lives of many artists. It asks us to recognize our longing, lack, and attachments, as well as to restructure the balance between “the work” and the need for safety and love.
Cancer is an extremely empathetic sign; it feels the emotions and energies of others, something many artists can identify with. Let’s face it, this kind of deep, watery empathy can be overwhelming when we look at the state of the world. The earth is burning, war is ongoing, and systemic oppression is clawing to keep its place in history. And we all feel it. It breaks our hearts and crushes the light within us to create.
How can we continue to stay inspired under these conditions? How do we keep our light and love and empathy as we push forward as artists and allies?
The answer: care & balance.
Tarot Reading: 3 of Disks Reversed
The 3 of Disks reversed tells us that we need to use this lunar cycle to restructure where we are putting our energy, particularly when thinking about our roles as artists. Right now, you could be hiding out, wasting energy in the mundane as a distraction, or feeling like you are all alone. The 3 of Disks upright is about collaboration, and building something as a team. It is about mastery, craftsmanship, and getting back to the contemplative practice of making without being bogged down by external influences or pressures. This card reversed could be saying that our collaborative relationships are out of whack, or that we need to re-focus or restructure boundaries between self-care and community work.
As the Mary-El Tarot companion text states, the 3 of Disks is like digging for gold in the dark mountain of fear and hardship. Marie White writes, “This gold nugget alone in the dark compressed by tons of rock is a succinct and poignant symbol of our soul, our true self, not at the outskirts where our ego lies.”
But we cannot do it alone, and thankfully we don’t have to. Even in times of retreat and reflection, the collective, much like the mother and father pictured in the card, is wrapping us up. Holding us close to give us the unconditional love that this Cancer full moon so seeks.
THIS NOURISHMENT IS PART OF THE WORK.
Say it over and over again until you believe it. We must be nourished in order to charge ahead like the sure-footed Capricorn sea-goat. We must hold ourselves and our art like the child on the card in order for it to grow strong and safe.
This is also echoed by the fact that this is a Wolf Moon. The wolf is part of the pack. It works together to live and thrive. It knows that it has a duty to its individual self, and to the family it is a part of. However, wolves are still very independent creatures. They understand the primal wisdom of both being apart from, and being a part of, a unit. Both are necessary to flourish and to find one’s true path.
Lastly, this powerful full moon lands on the 10th, which has always been a number of great significance for me personally. In numerology, 10 is distilled to the 1, which in tarot is represented by the Magician. The Magician is the great alchemist. He creates by using divine instinct and mastery of the elements to forge a new life path.
So, tonight, on this Full Wolf Moon and lunar eclipse, I encourage you to howl. Release the pain you are feeling for the world and yourself. Let it echo and reverberate up to the empathetic Cancer moon. Let go of what no longer serves you in order to make room for the self and the community. Set intentions to balance energy given to the work and to the well. Remind yourself that it is okay to ask for help. Excavate the bright gold nugget of your creative practice, your spirit, so that you may accomplish all of your goals, and find your true path with the warmth of its light.
The collective wolf pack will be there with you.
Bibliomancy | Pg. 26 from There: In the Light and the Darkness of the Self and of the Other by Etel Adnan
When water and the sky meet space starts rolling back, coming to terms with its origin, waiting to be reduced to duration and later, following in that direction, to flesh, blood, skin and nails…where in my body is there any room for all this?
The sparrow says ‘perhaps,’ then it says ‘I’m listening in,’ the foghorn covers the ocean’s voice. I’m bringing tons of paper in my luggage and is America for real, I dream of it when I lose hold. Is there anybody walking its broad plains, for a change?
This cry doesn’t break like glass, doesn’t need an alphabet. Your heart trembles along the walls of the city which gave birth, oh yes, suddenly, under lightning, to light.
Transient is the bridge that will carry us to where the sun doesn’t set. In the air’s pink granite mountains unfold. We went up steep distances and energy was needed. We did not fear the night although obscurity was dense and didn’t assume that the clouds would be benevolent. The impossible dream visited our sleep. We did not awake to check on the dawn
Shawnie Hamer / founder of collective.aporia
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