UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE MOON

Tonite is a Full Moon Eclipse, and this eclipse season during a Mercury Retrograde has got my brain reviewing this past year, especially going back to last year during this time, which was an incredibly intense eclipse season for myself personally.  I came across this old post the other day and it all flooded back in.  I have shared little snippets of that time here and there online, but never really sat down and wrote it all out.  In hindsight, that season brought such magic through darkness.  Below are some images I took during that Blood Moon.  I hold these moments deep in my heart.

This day was a turning point in my life... a threshold that I stepped over.  Pretty much my whole life, I have loved kids, even wanted to be a kindergarten teacher for a long time... but I was terrified of having my own.  When I lost my mom almost 9 years ago, the fear grew and festered into a deep ugly monster.  The thought of raising a child without her around just seemed unbearable.  Then 3 1/2 years later when I lost my dad, it got even worse.  I let fear consume me. 

On this particular full moon, I had alot of soul searching going on in my heart.  Old wounds resurfaced in a big way, and I learned just how big my fear was... not just about having a child.  But in general.  I was allowing fear to take over me.  I had situations arise that allowed me to take a deep hard look in the mirror at who I had become, who I was allowing to hold me back, and what needed to be released from my body.  I spent the entire day in my stick tipi.  Talking to the universe, digging up my bones, laying them out and examining them, and surrendering and letting them go the best I knew how.  Let's just say that full moon and I had the biggest heart to heart we had had in a long time.

I saw my very first owl in the woods that evening.  It was the most amazing experience.  It inspired me to draw the Luna Owl design we have for Skyline Fever (not knowing at the time it would become a shirt).  There were messages all around me during those weeks.

By the end of that evening, looking up at the moon as it eclipsed, I spoke out loud to the universe that I was ready to have a baby.  I told that moon that I was ready.  To carve out the space inside me for new birth to grow.  TWO WEEKS LATER on my next ovulation, I got pregnant.  I didn't know for a few more weeks, but looking back once I found out, it felt like pure MAGIC.  I have no doubt in my mind that after many tears, hours of heart to heart with myself, and lots of letting go and releasing, that I opened up space in my body to plant a new seed.  And one that I never knew could be as sweet as it is.  My little Ava Pearl truly fills so many holes that have been lingering in my body for years.  She is an angel and a healer.  To her mama at least.  She confirms my belief in Divine Timing. In the magic of this universe. In my connection with the moon.  And now she too will know that connection... as a DOUBLE cancer, born so close to a new moon, with a MOON FACE.  She is our moon baby, our little moon.

I have wanted to write this out for so long, it's only fitting I end up writing it one year later on another full moon eclipse.  Full circle.  Circle of Life.

THE WILD MYSTICS

The Wild Mystics
The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves

You know how in the movies, when a little girl enters a shadowy forest alone, the music grows dark and she begins to hear hissing, whispering voices from all sides? So she starts to run and branches tear at her hair and she falls and her dress catches on thorns, leaving a path marked by tatters and threads as she moves deeper and deeper into the woods. Tears streak her face. She hears footsteps, but sees no one; hears a cackling laugh, but she can't pinpoint from where. Her world spins. Night falls. She is cold and shivering.

Anytime you do something unconventional it can open the door to your shadow side. Anytime you leave a well-marked path for that which only makes sense to you you can find yourself poised for descent. Whenever you embrace all that is unknown it can thrust you into the wild.

I plunged into my mine this week as I left the conventional world of steady paychecks and glistening corporate ladders to crash into the dark wild forest otherwise known as “the rest of my life.” What I didn't expect, as I gulped sweet, heady breaths of liberty, was instant resurrection of my shadow.

In a recent letter to my tribe I shared an exchange with a friend.

“What does it mean when you can't handle it anymore?” I said, talking about leaving my job but really talking about the sneaky shame which flares up anytime I rebel against imaginary conversations with people who sound like my internal mom. “I mean, for some people there comes a point when you really can't handle it anymore. And then what? Do you have to start slicing up your arms to prove it?” ... Now I'm backed into a corner with a mob of angry, imaginary conversations spitting words into my face: Wait, you're in debt, you have bills and you still quit? What, you're a little baby and you can't deal when life gets hard? You think you're too good to put your fingernails in the dirt? Well, news for you sweetheart: other people do hard things every day. Other people don't bail when life gets tough. Other people sacrifice their dreams because they act like adults and do what needs to be done! Who do you think you are?

Sharing the way shame slathers me with guilt as I take steps to burst into my own living is vulnerable, but I want it to be known. Because shame has reared his head again. Shame says, “I can't believe you told them about me. You talk about helping people and yet here we are! All that soulwork you do? All that “healing?” (Insert exaggerated “air-quotes” here.) What kind of healer are you? You call yourself a soul-doula ... what is that, anyway?!”

Right now I'm staring out the window as a flirty breeze makes love to my windchimes. Before me is a glass jar filled with fresh flowers: cheerful gerbera daisies, long wild grasses, perky leaves with sweet little peeks of magenta tucked in. My husband bought them for me. Every couple of weeks or so he comes home with a new bouquet, sometimes with the “reduced for quick sale” label still attached.

I have to trust this. I have to trust that I'm worthy of fresh flowers. I have to trust that I'm loved.

On July 6 I'm going dark. I'm intentionally seeking descent into this vicious onslaught of shame so that I can dig through its sordid roots. My friend Mandy Steward and I have created a way to do so through our intense, guided eCourse called Into the Dark Night—A Guided, Creative Descent into the Shadowlands of the Soul. I need this right now and Laura has graciously invited me to share this with you in case you might need it, too.

As The Wild Mystics, Mandy and I see ourselves as wild women of the wilderness. We have dreadlocks and feathers in our hair. We follow the seasons of the moon. The night air whips our skirts into chaos until they shiver like prayer flags in the wind.

Love, consider this your invitation to join a gypsy tribe, a motley gathering of the poet and the prophetess, of artists, dancers, seers and mystics, earthen sisters unafraid to mine the seasons of life / death / life and seek the wanton truth packed in our bones. As your wild gypsy guides through the shadowlands we are here to hold a mirror for you to peer into the wild fields of your Self. We provide an array of soul-prompts and assignments to help carve your truth from the wildlands within. We gather with you in provocative ritual. We press our knees to the earth. We light incense and howl and listen to the wild.

We plunge into the dark forest together, so we each are not alone.

The Wild Mystics

Hillary Rain is a gypsy mystic who sees her life as a shadowy bohemian tale of mystery and grace. “I want my own language,” she says. As a writer and artist she considers herself a soul-doula who bears witness to the renewal of life and the holy-hush fleshing out of soulskin.
Hillary is the founder of Wild Mystic Magazine, a holistic lifestyle magazine for the feminine mystic (launching late 2014) and the co-founder of The Wild Mystics. Her writing is featured along with a soulful Bohemian Collective of gypsy artists + moon sisters and she is co-mama of Soulsigh, a sacred experience for women designed to honor the creative feminine through ritual and rebirth. She writes about sensuality, spirituality, and the shadowed nuances of her creative life at spiritsoulearth.com.


ELEMENTAL // SIMPLE ALTARS TO HONOR THE ELEMENTS

We are all connected to the elements - whether it is through the environment and seasons, when we let our emotions flood our spirit and tears pour, or we are so mad we are seeing red. The elements; earth, air, fire, water, and spirit our within us. We will be exploring these elements in our 5 week e-course Elemental.

It is important to honor these elements because they are apart of nature and can be great allies on our path. Call on the refreshing breeze of air to open your mind for clarity and inspiration; call on mama earth for support, grounding, and abundance; call on water to soothe your soul and embrace your emotions; call on fire to ignite your passions and energy; call in spirit to connect with your higher self in all you do. 

It is not just about asking for help though. There must be an exchange of giving and receiving - a relationship must be built. The more you work with the elements, the more you come to know yourself and the people around you. Below are simple altars you can create to begin a relationship with Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. You bring in the Spirit.


Earth Altar

A simple earth altar can include stones like the Red Jasper above, bones, and any pieces of nature you find. You can go on a nature walk, find a flower, stone, or stick and place it on your altar as an offering. Keeping this altar in your family room or garden can help you cultivate a loving home.


Water Altar

water altar - elemental

A water altar is great to place in your bathroom or bedroom for peace and tranquility. Seashells, sea salt, or a bowl of water are simple altar decorations. The Moon is also associated with water since she guides the tides, and I even have a statue of the Divine Feminine to remind myself of self-love. Anoint your altar items with water, one drop on your finger will do. Or say a blessing while you anoint yourself with water or your favorite perfume oil.


Fire Altar

A simple candle is perfect to honor fire. I also included a wand, associated with fire, and a star cluster aragonite because it look like a flame!  Simply saying a prayer or blessing while lighting any candle can kindle your relationship with this powerful element. Placing this altar on your hearth or kitchen for warmth, bedroom for passion, or office and studio of creative energy is wonderful.


Air Altar

Feathers, butterflies, incense and smudge are wonderful Air associations and make a beautiful altar. Place this altar in your studio or office to focus and create; by your favorite reading nook to engage your mind; a meditation spot to calm and focus the monkey-mind; or by your phone for peaceful communication. Simple lighting the incense or smudge and breathing deeply offer this element the honor it deserves.


You will learn so much more about the elements and yourself in our e-course Elemental. Rituals, recipes, meditations, more altars and crafts to engage our wild woman and balance these energies within. Laura from Roots and Feathers, Katelyn from Gyspy Moth Sol, Katie from Conscious Apothecary and me, Marissa from Moondaughter will be your loving guides through this journey. We can't wait to dance with you.

We begin July 12th

You can register here

Lunar Blessings,

Marissa Moondaughter