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This Monday, Sep. 24th brings a new Full Moon into our lives. The Full Moon is the crowning glory of the moon cycle, when the Moon is so full and luminous it is able to light our way. This is the phase of the Moon that holds the most magic, the most power, the most charge to do the hardest and most shadowy energetic work that we can throw its way. We see this in folklore and legend, when, of course, the Full Moon is the biggest time for spellwork and potions and deep, unfathomable transformations such as those of legendary and symbolic lycanthropy and shape shifting.
This is the time to bring our most difficult issues and challenges to the Universe for release, surrender, forgiveness and error correction, after we’ve done all we can with physical action. In short, this time is all about using this powerful, feminine energies to work with some of the hardest but most important energetic issues that are a part of our lives, these being the huge trifecta of Forgiveness, Self-Correction and Gratitude.
So why Forgiveness? Forgiveness is absolutely vital for your mental, spiritual, emotional AND physical health. And it can also be incredibly difficult to do. As we go on this adventure on earth, set our sights upon goals, as we take action to achieve them and form relationships with others and with the world around us, painful things can happen to us. And due to this, we can hold onto a lot of resentment. This resentment is corrosive. We think that it is our right to be angry with people (or, as we will discuss, with ourselves), but it is in fact getting in the way of use living the type of life that we are capable of. Resentment not only holds us back, but it is toxic, causing pain and potentially even illness on the vessel that holds it. Forgiveness is the time to release that toxicity and burn it away. This is a powerful act of the feminine power of surrender, and the Full Moon is a wonderfully powerful time to harness this energy and help yourself to shed this bad energy.
So why Self-Correction? When I use the term Self-Correction, what I like to think about is a change of direction away from actions that may be leading us in an erroneous and destructive path, and towards a path that is the right path for us. Again, during this adventure of life, there are countless, infinite paths to take at all times. However, some of those paths may in fact be the wrong ones in that they lead us towards causing pain and destruction to ourselves or to others. The Full Moon is a peak time in which the moon phases move in one direction, peak, and then move back in the opposite direction. This is wonderful energy that we can tap into the create our own movement in an opposite direction, within our lives.
And finally, and much more lightly, is Gratitude. Gratitude is also so incredibly important to live a healthy, abundant and developing life. The Full Moon, is, after all, the most glorious and generous and full part of the Moon cycle. It is the cycle where so many of us -human or animal – admire and just stare and really react to the Moon the most. It is just a proud, beautiful sight to behold. And in that vein, you should realize the fullness and brightness of your own life, and just look at it, and admire it for its unique and shining beauty despite all of your previous wishes and complaints about things you don’t have. Now is the time to list all the things you DO have, and celebrate them and admire them just as we celebrate and admire the Full Moon in the night sky.
So the Full Moon appears in a different astrological sign every month, and for this month, the Full Moon appears in the sign of Aries.
What can we say about Aries? Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. It is the sign that introduces the Self, the Ego, the Will. Aries is the sign of the Ram, and it is all about Me! Not ME personally, but “Me” as in “You”, your personal development and your willpower and your desires. The sign of Aries is ruled by the element of Fire, and its motto is “I Am.” This sign is all about the power of your own will. It’s all about the power of your individuality. It is not about you as a member of your society, your community, your family or your nation. There is a time and a season for that, but now is not it! Now is all about You as an individual. What makes you unique.
Now, this is a powerful and amazing concept, and though our society often demands us to be teammates and selfless and part of a greater group identity – be that our nation or our families or our community or our workplace – it is integrally important to feed, nurture, love, grow and develop YOURSELF. Any greater good is made up of a group of individuals. All greater good begins at the individual level. If you want an abundant, happy, peaceful, joyful society, you must begin by creating an abundant, happy, peaceful, joyful INDIVIDUAL. There is no way around it. You must be strong to give strength. You must be joyful to spread joy. You must love yourself to love others.
Now, as we discussed though, this is the Full Moon, and as such is the time for Forgiveness, Self-Correction and Gratitude. So for this month, we are talking about the dark side of Self and Ego. With all this talk of self-love and self development, what happens when the self becomes self-destructive? What happens when your Ego causes you to do things that you are not proud of, ashamed of even? What happens when you’ve learned to actually hate yourself based upon things that you’ve done?
This time is all about the healing process as it relates to your power as an indivividual.
The first concept that we are going to explore is that of Forgiveness. This time is all about forgiving yourself. Though when we usually discuss the concept of Forgiveness, we most immediately think about what others have done against us, we are leaving an important person out of this equation.
Now at this juncture, you may have one of two thoughts: Either 1. ME? I’ve done nothing wrong…or at least, nothing that wrong! And anything that IS wrong with me isn’t my fault…it’s SO-In-So’s fault!! OR…You could be thinking: 2. Oh god…. LOL
Like it or not, we ALL have to admit that despite our best efforts, despite wanting to do our best and be our best, we still manage to fuck up. Time and time again. We lash out, we backstab, we insult, we hurt, we scar and scheme and trick and torment others. This is the dark side of personal power: using our willpower to destroy and harm instead of to create and enrich.
Some of these times we atone for right away, by asking Forgiveness of others, and even on occasion forgiving ourselves. But much of the time, we lock and seal these dark moments away, telling ourselves that we are justified in acting the way we did.
This Full Moon in Aries, we really can take the time to uncover and let rise to the surface all of the guilt, regret, self-rightousness and anger that we keep bottled up for most of the year. This energy, however, must be faced, dealt with, acknowledged and released in order to maintain a healthy spiritual and emotional balance within yourself and in your world.
Let’s talk about the two reasons this is necessary. Number One, as previously stated, this is important for YOUR spiritual, emotional and even physical well-being. Though it is certainly important to look out for others – your family, your friends, your community, for example – the Full Moon in Aries IS all about being ok to take care of yourself, first and foremost. When you harm others in aggressive and warlike behavior – including name-calling, arguments and fighting - you in turn create a lot of aggressive and directive energy. The sheer creation of that energy, though directed at others, is still housed within you. It is behavior that always, on some level, creates embarrassment and shame, and just gets swallowed and tamped down deeper and deeper within you. This corrosive and fiery energy, if not released, will begin to corrode and eat away at your emotional equilibrium.
The cycle often goes like this. It begins with Hurt or Threat. This in turn creates Anger. Anger festers and builds and crescendos into low-frequency actions such as fighting and revenge and attacking others. We often then internalize the toxic aftereffects and residue of these low-frequency emotions and actions, pushing it deeper down into ourselves. This poisons ourselves, but it also spreads the vitriol and anger and desire for revenge to others. You best believe that you will see the effects of this pushed back into your face, sooner or later.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the horror film “The Grudge,” either the original Japanese film or the American remake. If you have seen it and you’re a fan, you undoubtedly have an opinion on which is superior – the Japanese original or the American remake – but for the purposes of this deiscussion, they are both dead on the mark, no pun intended! The general plot of both films is that a violent, angry act creates an energetic imprint that haunts the place where it occurred. Worse, this dark energy spreads its virulent, destructive energy with anyone that comes into contact with that energy. This concept, translated into a horror film, is absolutely horrifying. AND it’s not too far off the mark in real life, minus the whole undead killer ghost thing, that is.
Low frequency emotions like hatred , anger, rage and revenge are not just destructive and corrosive, they are highly contagious. These energies explode from us, cause great damage and infect the energetic fields of those that experience it. This energy harms you both from within, and also from without, causing others to harness and wield that same energy back against you.
The Number Two reason this is important is for the emotional balance and wellbeing of the world. We already mentioned that the contagious nature of angry and aggressive low-frequency energy. When others mistreat you, what type of emotional state does that tend to leave you in? When you experience low-frequency energy from others when, as an example, they were cruel to you or struck out at you or harmed you in any way, how – unless you make great effort to change it – does your energy feel? You will most likely also feel low-frequency energy growing within yourself. And this energy will undoubtedly threaten to spill out and infect and affect others. If you do lash out at others, how do you feel their energy will develop? As you can see, harming others whether though anger, jealousy, insecurity, fear – harming others is participating in a never-ending loop of negativity and pain. When we hurt others, no matter if “they had it coming,” no matter if they “deserve it,” we are creating and injecting more pain into the world. Furthermore, that pain, by its contagious and cyclic nature, will infect and affect people that have never hurt you and have nothing to do with your relationship with the people in your life.
Pain is the reason for all the horrors that we see in the world – war, murder, rape, abuse, violence, genocide…All of these things have come from pain. This Full Moon in Aries, we need to recognize the power we have as individuals and the role we each play in adding pain to the world and keeping the cycle of pain going.
So how can we end this cycle? How can we stop the never-ending loop of hurt? Two important ways to stop the cycle are Forgiveness and Self-Correction. Let’s talk about the first of these, Forgiveness.
This Full Moon, we need to forgive those that have wronged us or who we perceive have wronged us, which of course may not be the same thing. When we forgive, we are in fact committing a powerful act of Pain Cycle Interruption. We interrupt the Pain Cycle by becoming conscious of what is happening, and figuratively throw a wrench in the evil machine. The more we do this, and the more of us that do this, the more healing our world will have.
This Pain Cycle Interruption starts with us forgiving those who have hurt us. This, of course, can and often is incredibly difficult to do. But this is extremely vital to your own emotional wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of every person on the planet.
So this Full Moon, let’s ask: Who have YOU hurt? What have you done to contribute to the cycle of pain in the world? This is the time to change direction. This is the time for us to move away from a destructive path and towards a better one. Really get it out. Make a list of everything you know or your suspect you’ve done, and ask yourself, “How can I correct this? How can I make this better?” Are there people that you need to ask for forgiveness? Are there people that you need to have more patience with?
Every Full Moon can be a monthly marker and reminder to take this step of Forgiveness. Forgiveness generally has two stages: 1. Purging of all the negativity that was passed onto YOU; and 2. Release. The need to Forgive is not independent of the understanding of what others have done to you. It is certainly understandable that other people may indeed have done some awful, awful things to you. However, this time, the Full Moon, is a time to recognize that and bring it from the shadows into the full illumination as symbolized by the Full Moon. In other words, often in life, we skirt around the true depths of pain that others have caused us. When others hurt us, we often try to take back our power in the form of anger and revenge and retribution, cursing the names of others for what they’ve done. This often can even be done in a twisted sense of humor, for example, making jokes about how much we “can’t stand” So-in-So. However, during the Full Moon, it’s time to really drag what’s going on in the full light of the Full Moon. Humor often covers up deep pain, and now’s the time to list out exactly what our pain is and what they did to us. It’s ok to be upset, it’s ok to cry, hell, if you need to break something inconsequential like some dishes you brought from a thrift store for just this purpose, that’s ok! The “Purging” part is all about getting your pain out of your body.
Once that has been done, it’s time for Release. This is the most important part here. As painful as it may seem, you need to Forgive and Absolve everyone from what they’ve done to you. It’s important because we need to interrupt the Pain Cycle and do our part to prevent others, including children and future generations, from experiencing pain that we have generated.
I think this is best done in two parts: letting out your pain and purging all the pain and hurt and anger and vitriol that has built within you, and then releasing all of it in an act of Forgiveness. When others hurt us, we tend to hold so much pain deep within ourselves, and punish ourselves when these emotions leak out. The Full Moon is a good reminder and marker to give those darker feelings permission and freedom to come out. Let out what people have done to you, and how it made you feel.
Once that has been let out, you need to really release your pain and forgive everyone who has wronged you. This may be incredibly difficult to do, but it is so important. You NEED to release the pain and anger in order to move energetic toxicity out of your body. You need to do this for your own personal health.
And don’t forget, there is one more person that you need to forgive here: Yourself. This is an especially powerful time for us to face up to all the wrong we’ve done and all the pain we’ve caused others. This actually may be even harder to do than forgiving others. If you are strong-willed with a healthy ego, admitting that you have been wrong can be a tremendously hard thing to do.
So how can you do this? First of all, recognize that you are doing the best you know how to do. Life does not come with a instruction manual, and actions that you take are based upon things that have happened to you in the past. When you scream at a friend or a loved one because they have did something “dumb and annoying” for the 6th time, you are acting based upon past knowledge, right? Wrong. You are actually acting based upon your individual PERCEPTION of past events, and that brings us to the 2nd way that you need to understand how your actions are wrong. There so often is more than one Truth to a situation. You may see something from one angle and reach one conclusion, while someone else sees something from another angle and reach another conclusion. Which one of you are wrong? Technically, neither of you could be wrong! And both of your can be right. Admitting your part in a bad situation may not be declaring the other person to be totally in the right. It could simply be that: Admitting your part in a bad situation or relationship.
If you have a hard time forgiving yourself because of your guilt, one thing you must do is imagine speaking to another person who was in the same situation as yourself. If a friend or someone you loved dearly came to you wanting forgiveness, would you berate them and tell them they are worthless and will never be forgiven? You most likely would not. You most likely would tell them that they are brave for asking for forgiveness, or that they didn’t know what they were doing at the time, and that they were loved and needed to release and heal and move on. You need to treat yourself like you would a best friend or family member: with love, patience, compassion and mercy.
Our culture, for some reason, so often teaches us to be hard and unforgiving on ourselves. As a very, very lighthearted example, if you have a friend over for lunch and they spill a glass of water on your floor and express upset over it, you would most likely tell them, “It’s ok! Don’t worry about it! It was an accident! It will be ok!” However, if YOU spill a glass on the floor, it may not be unsual to hear you mutter, “Stupid! Why did you spill that glass! Why are you such an idiot??”
You need to take care of yourself to make the world a better place, and this includes treating yourself like your best friend when it comes to forgiveness.
And finally, the Full Moon is all about Gratitude and celebrating the fullness and brightness that can be found in your life! This is where we end a challenging dose of medicine with a dose of dessert! What is wonderful about YOU? What attributes do you have and what gifts do YOU bring to the world that you’re grateful for? Now is the time to celebrate, and dance and blow your own horn about what makes you amazing and how the world is, even in spite of all your flaws and your dark side, a richer place because you are here.
Now, if you would like a little ritual or exercise to follow along with in which you can incorporate and all three of these exercises, head on over to www.newworldtarot.org/spreads-n-spells.html for the “Fire and Water Full Moon Forgiveness Ritual.” It can be adapted to whatever length and level of simplicity works for you, and it’s lovely and effective.
So make sure you take time to practice Self-Correction, Forgiveness and Gratitude this month. It is vital for the health of your ego and to keep you moving forward in a healthy manner.