Tonight at 7:37 PM PST the moon will be at its fullest. As always, we get to work with Full Moon energy the day before, on, and the day after its peak. The Algonquin tribes of the North-East named July's Full Moon the "Buck" Moon because, by late July, the velvety rack of male dears are forming beautiful fuzzy antlers. The expression, "young buck" often refers to a young adventurous male, and indeed, this summertime moon is ripe for supporting your ambitions. We also know that the moon is itself a symbol of femininity. And, the phases of the moon symbolize immortality and eternity. No wonder then that this moon is the perfect invitation to begin exploring the card of Leo season, Strength.
In this card, a maiden caresses a lion under a lemniscate ∞ The lion is a symbol of power, ambition, masculinity, and also in the Cristian tradition of 'God the Father.' The unwed and virginal maiden is an obvious depiction of femininity; however, she is neither dominant nor submissive. The lion is joyfully receiving her loving, gentle, and kind attention. This exchange of energies peacefully flows without beginning or end. In order to keep the flow of this infinite exchange, both parties must trust their own innate value and security. Vulnerability and connection are the true elements of strength. I'm reminded of the lyrics in the very sad song "I Know, It's Over" by The Smiths. Morrissey sings: It's so easy to laugh It's so easy to hate It takes strength to be gentle and kind Over, over, over, over I love these lyrics. I don't think that Morrissey (or really anyone) actually finds it easy to laugh or hate others. Hate takes works. And yet, Morrissey, his fans, and I know how easy it is to internalize being laughed at and hated. We've all been there. At some point we've all thought, "Love is natural and real, but not for one such as you, my love." Well, my lovelies, none of that thinking tonight! In the preceding card, The Chariot, we saw an individual who had achieved self-reliance and approval from others, and thus, self-esteem. Validation from others and comparing oneself favorably against others is how we build self-esteem. And that is as far as The Chariot can take us. Self-esteem is dependent the creation of a 'self' and an 'other' to compare that 'self' to. In this next phase of our journey, we begin to recognize self-worth, which is independent of any externalizing. Self-worth simply states: "I deserve to be here because I am here." In order to unveil that truth, we will be required to forgive everyone, including and especially ourselves for everything - over and over and over and over. And that takes Strength.
For tonight's meditation with Strength and the full moon, you'll simply need a quiet spot to meditate. If you want to incorporate any stones in your practice, Tiger's Eye would be an excellent choice. Begin by finding a comfortable, quiet space. Outside under a tree with a view of the moon would be ideal. If you can't see the moon, that is okay, you can still connect to its energy. The intent of this exercise is to gently initiate a practice that you can return to over and over that helps you rediscover your inherent worth, independent of your triumphs and your charms, on your own tonight. If you don't have a regular meditation practice, that is not a problem. I borrowed this meditation from a longer interview with Mooji and Russell Brand. Simply begin by bringing awareness to your breath. As you begin to drop into your breath, mentally state: "I am" As you continue to stay present with the breath, begin a visualization that allows you to put aside only for this short time, whatever identifiers you have of yourself. Take whatever perceived achievements or failures, whatever labels of gender, age, or appearance, and leave those. If it helps, you can imagine that you are the charioteer and in stepping out of the chariot. Leave behind the armor of your accomplishments your past and desires, even your desires for enlightenment. Empty everything that could be taken out that you assign to your identity, leave it behind. Now, be with whatever remains- the 'what is'. Begin to inquire, can what remains take a shape? Does it have boundaries? Was it created? Can it be destroyed? Can it be for or against anything? Can you be apart from this 'what is'? No Would it be unreasonable to say that this 'what is' is you? Yes After leaving any identifier that can be left behind in Chariot, there is still 'what is'. And you are still present and of it. When this visualization is complete, gently bring your awareness back to the space you are in and state clearly to the moon, "I am inherently valuable beyond measure. I myself, as much as anyone or anything in the entire universe, deserve my love and affection"
If you are up for it, spend some time journaling about this recognition of your inherent self-worth. If the thinking mind has opinions that challenge this experience, that is normal and fine. The ego may resist accepting that all those talents and charms aren't the source of security worth and love. That is okay. It takes Strength to be gentle and kind to yourself, and you get to practice, over and over and over. xoxo Meredyth