There's a lot happening these days. On Saturday we welcome the New Moon, and we begin this year's first eclipse season. Sunday marks the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice, a celebration known as Beltane, which is also May Day. And, on a fun personal note, I get to be an attendant at a friend's wedding on Saturday!
While the Northern Hemisphere will be honoring fertility and the coming of the light, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere will be honoring the dead and welcoming the darkness of winter with their Samhain, aka Halloween.
Wherever you are, this weekend is a time when the veil to the spirit realm is the thinnest, so be sure to say hello to your guides.
To help you do just that, today I am offering a meditation anchored in the Two of Swords and the Ace of Cups that you can use to honor 2022’s only New Moon in Taurus and to support you through the first eclipse season of the year.
The New Moon in Taurus and A Solar Eclipse
“Only let the moving waters calm down, and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your being.” - Deepak Chopra.
One of my greatest challenges in life has been sitting in stillness. My ADHD was undiagnosed until after college, so when I finally found pharmacologic tools to support me, I had already invented dozens of coping mechanisms. It wasn't until much more recently that I became a regular meditator, and still, I struggle. That struggle is what I plan to offer up and release during this eclipse season and in this New Moon ritual. Whatever thinking pattern is an obstacle to your peace, I invite you to use this time and practice to let it go. The New Moon will begin Saturday, April 30th at 1:28 pm PT, so you will want to wait until at least that time. As with any New Moon ritual, you can participate in its energy during the new phase or the crescent phase. At 1:41 pm the partial solar eclipse will be at its peak. While it will only be visible in parts of Antarctica, the tip of South America, and the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, you might enjoy timing your ritual when these events align. This eclipse portal will close on May 16th with the Full Moon and lunar eclipse, so revisit this practice and continue to let go for at least that timeframe.
The significance of an eclipse season is a hotly debated topic by astrologers and witchy folks. There are those who warn that beginning a New Moon manifestation during an eclipse season is unwise. There are some folks who believe eclipses can portend cataclysmic events. I don’t share those concerns, but even if you do, this meditation can still be of service. My approach to the Tarot, manifestation, and astrology, is to only take what serves and leave the rest behind. You won't hear any fear-based talk of retrogrades or twin flames from me. My approach to eclipse seasons is the same. I recognize that these cosmic traffic happenings can bring the potential for personal energy work, which is nothing to fear. The word eclipse originated in ancient Greece, as a statement meaning to abandon or to leave behind. This is how I like to conceive of eclipse season, a time to rapidly and efficiently let go of something that is no longer serving you. To help us, I am calling upon the Two of Swords.
In this card, we see a figure seated under a waxing crescent moon on a stone bench with a stone foreground. The ocean is behind her, and the tide is out. This person’s posture is erect but not stiff.
There is a blindfold comfortably covering her eyes. Her arms are crossed and she holds two enormous swords. The swords are too big to make efficient weapons, but there is no sign of fatigue from gripping them.
Swords are ruled by the element of air and they represent our minds.
The mind can be a powerful tool for creation and communication. When we use our intellect to decern truth, we are able to cut to the core of our feelings, our passions, and our beliefs.
The mind is also the primary operator of the ego. With the laudable intention to keep us safe, our egos invent creative fear-based stories of separation and scarcity.
The suit of swords tells the story of what it is to seek truth and train the mind away from fear and towards the soul's truth, love.
Aleister Crowley was a major figure in the occult and he said, “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. Love is the law, love under will.”
He almost got it right, but not quite. Love is not under anything. If we look to the Swords as teachers of rules, laws, and determined will, we fall into the ego's fear of separation from the divine.
Ultimately, the only truth is connectivity and love. The alternative voice is that of separation and fear. How can I be certain? Because if love and connectivity weren't true, we couldn't fear being separated from it.
When we look to love as the only truth and separation as the creative fiction, the Swords become tools for following peace and connectivity.
The traditional descriptors of the Two of Swords are, "stalemate," "impasse," or, "avoidance." Like fearing an eclipse, this traditional interpretation is due for an upgrade. The ego's only tools for discernment are "right" and "wrong", "good" and "bad." When we believe that to be the truth, we can absolutely become stuck in indecision. From this vantage, the blindfold becomes an obstacle. If only this figure could see, then the "right" choice would become clear; however, that is not what is actually taking place here. This card is actually a depiction of deep listing to the voice of the Divine, the voice of love. As I mentioned last time regarding the Two of Pentacles, the Twos in the Tarot are about co-creation with the divine. Of course, that can be said of everything, but the Twos are especially instructive in how to practice faith. Part of our progress as individuals on spiritual journies must take place on an inward path, one that is not contingent on external stimuli. By applying the blindfold and holding up those two words, our teacher is demonstrating what it means to go inward, to listen deeply for the voice of divine love. This listening requires boundary setting and patience. Manifestations and Moon rituals are tools of co-creation and the New and the Waxing Crescent Moon phases are traditionally when we set our manifestation intentions for the lunation ahead. The moon in the Two of Swords is a waxing crescent. We could also see this shape appear in a solar eclipse. The sun is a symbol of our external experiences and the moon is a representation of our inner world, so during the solar eclipse stage, our inner voice has a chance to be visible before our exterior realities.
Deep Listening with the Two of Swords
For this exercise, I want you to first identify one pattern you would like to release and what easeful practice you would like to see replace it. I want to release the discomfort that I feel in stillness, specifically when writing. I love that I get to communicate my thoughts to the world through these articles, but I have some lingering resistance to the actual work of sitting down and writing. The Eight of Pentacles is a great anchor for what dedicated service to consistent content creation can look like, so I intend to use that card as my anchor for what I want to receive and replace my anxiety with.
Your invitation of what to release and what to receive may be different. You can select a card that you feel connects to your desire or one that you want to understand more deeply. If you're not sure what you want to want to receive more of, I suggest you invite the Ace of Cups.
This card is all about opening the heart center to loving abundance. The dove of peace deposits a wafer of divine connectivity into a cup that is overflowing with abundance. The five streams that it emits represent the five senses. The calm water is filled with lotus blossoms which are also symbols of peace. When we are in touch with our abundant heart, we get to come to all our endeavors from a place of overflow. We are able to give and receive in equal measures so that we are never depleted or drained. I can think of no better invitation for us all than to invite greater connectivity to love. The busy untrained thinking mind, hungry for distraction, is a problem-solving, and thus problem-seeking machine. It is what stands in the way of our experience that truth is love. So, we must train it. We must go inward.
Find a firm seat where you will not be interrupted. In order to learn from the Two of Swords, we are going to mirror it. Unlike the figure in our card, no actual swords are required, but you'll want to dress comfortably and you'll need a blindfold. If you are near a large body of water, that is ideal, but more important is that you feel a tremendous amount of spaciousness and solitude. I know that for many of you, that alone may sound like a huge request, and I get it. Even if you are only able to use a locked bathroom in a busy household, establish your sovereignty there. To gain that feeling of solitude and spaciousness, apply your blindfold and close your eyes. Feel free to block out any ambient sounds with earplugs or use a soundtrack of gentle ocean sounds. You should be sitting upright, alert but not stiff. Feel into your breath. With the inhale and exhale, begin to feel your sovereignty. You are unique, and also part of the whole. The space between the breath is the spaciousness where all things are possible.
Observe how the mind enjoys darting around looking for tasks. Allow yourself to just see those thoughts as passing waves on the shore (real or imagined) behind you. The practice of meditation is the practice of returning to the breath. Your mind wanders, and you return to the breath. As you do this, allow yourself to feel into your heart-space. Place your right hand over your heart and your left hand over your blindfold. Feel your inhale and exhale. Imagine your heart center is connected to the crown of your head with an arch of light. See the light flowing from the crown of your head up to the sky, connecting you to all that is. You can use any mantra or prayer that supports you in opening to greater receptivity and love. For example, "May I be peaceful. May I be love. May I know safety. May I feel love." "Tell me where to go, what to do, what to say and to whom, and the will to do it, and nothing more." As you do this, visualize any fear or anxiety being suctioned up through the beam of light from the crown of your head and becoming enveloped by the light of creation. Feel your connection to your seat and the pull of gravity. Allow your feet and your sacrum to receive from the earth whatever belief system you want to replace your fear with. For example, mine will be, "Writing is easeful and restorative." Yours might be, "I can trust that the voice of connectivity and love is the voice of truth. I am love and love is for me."
Meditation really is a practice. We practice not to "get better" but to go inward. When we gift ourselves the experience of turning off the exterior world, we make space to listen to the guidance of spirit. When you conclude your meditation, give thanks to yourself and to the divine. You can return to this practice with or without the blindfold at any time, but I want to challenge you to repeat some form of meditation, even if it is only for 10 minutes, every day until the lunar eclipse on May 16th. As you continue to go inward, offer up whatever you are ready to release. You will be deepening your connection to the wisdom of the Two of Swords and to the medicine of the Ace of Cups, or whatever card you want to enlist as your ally. I am sending you all my support and confidence. While stillness is a challenge for everyone, I know this New Moon and eclipse season can support you in finding even more abundant love and an easeful relationship with the mind. Until next time, happy Beltane, happy May Day, and happy spring! xoxo Meredyth