January's Wolf Moon
In the media, much noise is made around setting New Year resolutions and then, in almost the same breath, the expectation that these resolutions will be abandoned is confirmed. Russel Brand has an interesting video on the topic.
Of course the idea of “New year, new you” is an appealing trope to a consumer culture that requires “new” ways to “fix” you; however, whenever we buy into any change that is rooted in the belief that there is something wrong with us, the ego has taken charge and any chance for true spiritual growth is removed. In which case, bravo for abandoning said resolutions!
Any source of information that would label an entire year as a “garbage-fire” then ask you to digest its passage on a single “finish-line” day is clearly not a source of evolution. That these same sources immediately fire the starting gun of an entirely “new you” race, is absurd. Who else could you ever be but uniquely beautify you?
In contrast, when we set our intentions for growth and expansion on a lunar timetable, our work becomes both participatory and observational.
Each New Moon is a time to set new intentions. As the first crescent begins to shine, we can see our intentions coming to light.
At the First Quarter Moon, we check-in with ourselves. Have we honored the light within that wanted to grow from intention? What more can we offer ourselves? As the moon continues to grow, we can mirror that with a feeling of growth and fullness internally.
At the Full Moon, we’ve had time to examine our intentions and experience whatever alterations that they have brought into practice. We celebrate all that has come to pass, give thanks for what is full and complete, then release whatever else remains to be accomplished to Spirit. At the Full Moon, our resolve needs only to receive help from the Divine.
As the Last Quarter Moon appears, we continue to release and make space for the approaching new cycle. Letting go is half the work of growth and expansion.
This month's Wolf Moon ritual is all about self-kindness and observation. 11:16 AM PST today is when the moon is at its most full. Whenever the moon is at its fullest during the day, it is just another reminder that moon work means luxuriating in time.
We get to observe its fullness for days. Unlike a comet or a meteor shower, you cannot miss the Full Moon. Even if there is too much cloud cover to see it tonight, it will illuminate the night soon enough.
To begin this ritual, make a list of 10 things that you have recently intended to do. This can include your New Year's resolutions if you made them. It can also include any errands or to-dos. You can add things that you’d like to do more of and longer-term projects that you’ve imagined. Put the list aside.
Next, make a new list of 10 things that are completed. This should include some items that you have taken for granted. For example, if your children are potty trained, if your house is moved-in and unpacked, if you’ve graduated school and your homework is done forever. It can also include some of the errands that didn’t make the previous list because you went to the dry cleaner and the grocery store over the weekend.
Now place the second list on the top of the first. As you go through your day, if you make progress on your current intentions, you can add them to the completed list, but the goal of this exercise is not to make you feel more productive by recounting old ‘wins’. It is to actively put into perspective the fullness of the present moment.
I saw a clock once made of erase board. Its hour arm was the eraser. As we fill in our goals, our intentions, and our to-dos, we are working with the mind to meet a future version of self, but of course, we are always meeting our present self. Whether the meeting at three takes place, goes well or not, we will still be there at five.
Tonight, try to find a view of the moon. If it is too cloudy to see, know it is still there. Take up your lists and give thanks for all the things that have come to pass. While potty training or unpacking a move may be ancient history to you tonight, it was once a major intention.
Then offer up your second list, and give thanks for all that is unfinished and left to be done. If you've been hard on yourself for any reason, forgive yourself. If you would like help on your journey into this new year, go ahead and ask for all that you want or need.
If it is raining or snowing, let the moisture wash your lists clean. If not, rinse them with water. Then as you do this, stay firm in your intention that this offering of yourself to the Divine is in perfect alignment with your True You. Recycle or flush your lists, all that you can do is complete.