Full Moon in Aries October 9 @ 20:54 UTC, 5:54 pm EDT, 1:54 pm PDT, and October 10 @ 7:54 am AEST
This Full Moon — the last in the current wheel of the year, which begins again at Samhain — finds us in the fire sign Aries and is a good time to reflect on where we have been since its complement, the New Moon in Aries (March 31st), which began the astrological year.
Aries is a sign we associate with the warrior archetype, with the hero, with courage and action. But perhaps those are the waxing energies of the sign, qualities that we associate with Aries at a spring new moon. Consider how that might manifest in a waning cycle, such as autumn and the days following a Full Moon. How could courage and action — and the fire element — manifest in its waning expression?
Perhaps we can understand or gain clarity by looking at the energies around us, as they may already be manifesting those waning Aries qualities.
What is happening in your locale? How could being a hero, acting from courage and taking action feel at this time of year?
In my locale, October is a time of transition, towards Samhain in the northern hemisphere and Bealtaine in the southern hemisphere. But is it possible that we are always in transition as we align with the energies of the ever-turning Wheel of the Year, stepping into the influences in our locale, our unique blend of energies of water, air, fire and earth?
For me, this is autumn and such an unusual one. Our drought continues and the temperatures have not dropped dramatically since summer. And the leaves show us this… they dry, fade to brown, and fall. Some seem to have skipped that glorious transformation we associate with deciduous trees, the blazes of gold, red, purple and everything in-between.
In her book Herbal Rituals (currently out of print but available as an ebook through selected online retailers such as Rakuten Kobo), Judith Berger contemplates October energy in her locale (New York) and asked the leaves why they fall. They whispered their reply:
"The answer," the voice hissed and creaked, "is in these leaf-ears than now cleave to the ground. They remind us ..." the voice paused, an exhaled heavily, whistling as I inhaled another breath. "They remind us that the time of silence now rises from below, elongating itself like a shadow of the ground. The season where quiet blooms and we tilt our ears like leaves toward the hush air an earth draws near. If we do this, the north winter wind and the cold that rides the back of the silence will bring voices. The voices of those we wish to remember and the voices of all not yet born. But first," the speaker whispered, its speech slipping back to its silence course, "first you must be as these leaves. You must do what the leaves now do."
It was this quote that inspired my personal theme for this month, that of Stillness and Descent. For me, it is a courageous to choose stillness especially when our culture so highly prizes productivity (not recognizing that stillness is extremely productive!). And I can be my own hero when I put self-care as a priority.
As it so often happens, the words of Mary Oliver inspired me in my personal Soul Work on stillness. Read her poem “Today” in “Inspiration from the bards”.
Inspiration from the Bards
As we approach Samhain, deepen into that slowing waning energy, a time of deep intuition and connection to our ancestors. Like Berger’s trees, listen to the ancient voices. Heed the advice of Mary Oliver’s “Today”. Fly low. Take a day off. Be quiet as a feather. Let Stillness be the door to the temple, to your Soul Work, however you define that. From her poetry collection A Thousand Mornings:
Today I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep. The world goes on as it must, the bees in the garden rumbling a little, the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten. And so forth. But I’m taking the day off. Quiet as a feather. I hardly move though really I’m traveling a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors into the temple.
A Soul Work Invitation
Stillness is a concept that initially felt foreign to me. Always busy. Looking for the next project. Making lists. Learning new things. And sometimes spinning plates hoping nothing crashed!
But I eventually realized how important stillness is in my life. Some see stillness simply as idleness — going as far as calling it the “devil’s workshop”! Some see “inactivity” as wasted time. But is stillness inactive? Is it wasted time? I see it as essential. In stillness we can dream . . . imagine . . . wonder . . . heal. These are all important —necessary! — in one’s life. If you need to assign value to stillness consider this: our stillness practice can fuel plans for a better and even healthier life, perhaps one more balanced, one more creative, one less stressed, one more full of love. Priceless!
I am giving my Self a gift in this shift to the new year, some “cauldron time” in my stillness practice where things can bubble and brew, shift and transform… where I can hear the whispers of the ancestors, and hear An Cailleach reminding me that the coming days of Samhain and Winter Solstice can be a time of both stillness and creative energy.
I’m seeking the stillness where this can happen, and shedding all the “nice to do” stuff in my life, the urgent but not important, and focusing simply on what brings me joy and stillness within such as walking in nature, writing, creating, music, yoga, meditation and more. And choosing less when I usually choose more!
As you ponder on this time of the year, as one cycle is coming to an end and another soon beginning, I invite you to ponder on stillness, perhaps asking these questions or ones you devise yourself:
- What does stillness mean to me?
- Is stillness already an element of my life?
- What is the marker that tells me that I need more (or less) stillness?
- What happens when I am out of balance, out of right relationship, with stillness?
- And… what is the marker that says “You are ready now, Moon Child. Let the wisdom of stillness inspire you”.