dark moon

All posts tagged dark moon

Fire Labyrinth

Published October 5, 2013 by ireneglasse

In advance to next weekend’s trip to Twilight, a good friend offered to host a Dark Moon Labyrinth Walk with a special treat–a labyrinth of Fire!  Small clip from initiating the burn below.  Enjoy!

 

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Perfect Expression

Published December 13, 2012 by ireneglasse

For Pagans, the darker side of the year is a time for internal work–for choosing a battle, digging in, and working your way through.  The combination of myth cycles, sunlight and weather that keeps us indoors serves as grease for the wheels, if you let it.  This year, I’m working on Perfectionism.  I have an ideal inside my head of what my life is supposed to be like–what I should look like, how I should act, what I should do.  And when I fall short of that ideal, I wrestle with a lot of guilt.  The guilt feeds into my anxiety disorder.  I redouble my efforts, this time stressed and anxious, and ultimately manage to screw myself up.  I end up getting sick, overextended, neurotic…it’s an ugly cycle.  And it goes on almost constantly.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about ways to overcome my Perfectionism.  I’ve been working on self-acceptance, on the idea of ‘enough.’  That I do enough, have enough, am enough.  This evening I’m doing a releasing ritual with my wonderful working partner to further this cause.  I’ll be creating a new mala for use in prayer and yoga practice.

Yoga practice.  So many ideas come together here.  The one that really crystallized for me this past week was the idea of Perfect Expression.  A phrase often uttered by instructors at my studio is ‘Find your perfect expression.’  By that, they mean to listen to your body when you’re working on a pose.  To find out where you, personally, need to physically be, what you need to cultivate.  Not to worry about reaching the peak of that pose–Perfect Execution–but what is exactly right for your body in that moment.

For example, I have tight hamstrings.  I’m extremely strong, but not very flexible.  It seems to run in the family–we have very dense muscles and tissues that keep mobility a little pinned down.  So, for me, the Perfect Expression of Downward Facing Dog means my heels don’t touch the floor.  Yet I still get as much out of that pose as someone whose heels do touch–i.e. a great hamstring stretch/shoulder opener/lower back expansion.  That slight difference in execution becomes meaningless since the beauty and benefit to the body are equal.  Even if, 20 years from now, my heels still don’t touch in Down-dog, it will still be the Perfect Expression of the pose for me.

Perhaps there is a Perfect Expression of the Self as well.  We all have an ideal we strive for, whether given to us by our family, the media, our culture as a whole or some combination of those sources.  That ideal is Perfect Execution–beauty, health, wealth, a stable, loving relationship, enough time to help those in need, clean house, nice cars, etc, etc.  A perfectly executed life.  Yet the same way all our bodies are different, our minds and lives are different, too.  We have tight hamstrings, bad shoulders, trick wrists.  We accumulate little dings and dents along the way and must modify that Perfect Execution to fit the needs and limits of our unique, individual self.

And perhaps that modification is Perfect.  Perfect for us in that moment.  Perfect for our reality.  Perfect for the soul, the personality, the life we lead.  Perfectly expressed for who we are.  That expression doesn’t look like the ‘peak pose’ of the life we imagine–it doesn’t look like the ideal inside our head.  But the resemblance is unmistakable.  Although the images aren’t identical, we still cultivate the root of that ideal.  We reach toward it.  And that Perfect Expression is exactly where we need to be.

So I haven’t saved the world yet.  I haven’t completely balanced house-work-music-health-life.  I haven’t figured out the Mysteries of the Universe.

And it’s Perfect.  The things I think of as flaws, as failings, are just modifications.  I have tight hamstrings.  I have an anxiety disorder.  I modify Downward Facing Dog.  I modify my life.  And the beauty and benefit of those modifications are the same within me as Perfect Execution would be.  I do not feel guilt in my yoga practice.  I don’t beat myself up for not being able to flawlessly move through Standing Twisting Triangle.  Instead, I find that place within me that benefits most from the energy of that pose and I breathe into it.

Perfect Expression.

As in yoga, so in life.  As within, so without.  As above, so below.

A blessed New Moon to you, and to your Perfect Expression.

 

Ending a cycle

Published December 5, 2012 by ireneglasse

In the myths of the cultures we sprang from, new light is on its way.  The days are short and the nights long; the cold keeps us indoors and it’s all too easy to fall into brooding and retrospect.  The wheel of the year is winding down, turning toward its end.  And though we throw wide the East Gate soon to let in new light, that time is not yet here.

This space of darkness and reflection has its own value.  With each year, we gather to ourselves more memories, more experiences, more feelings.  Some joyous, some sad.  We learn, we grow, we change.  And as we fill the pages of this year’s book, the sorrows and challenges can weigh heavy on our spirit.

The last new moon of the year is fast approaching.  It falls on Thursday, December 13th, this year.  Why is that important?  The transition of darkness to light in the lunar cycle is a good time for releasing.  As the final cycle of its kind of 2012, this upcoming new moon offers us a unique opportunity.

What do you carry that no longer serves?  What injuries have you taken on this year?  What relationships have become toxic?  You have a chance to release those dark pieces into the endless night and begin the coming year with a blank slate.

This can be as simple as offering up your burdens in prayer, writing them on a piece of paper and setting that paper alight, or performing a full-fledged releasing ritual.  You can take this opportunity to purify your home, releasing the gathered energies of the last year.  You can also use this new moon to further your work on changes already underway.

I am working on releasing guilt.  I struggle with feelings that I am not good enough, that I don’t do enough, help enough, work hard enough.  I fight against my humanity and the finite nature of my time and energy.  I beat myself up for not meeting the unrealistic ideal I carry within me.  And I am trying to change that behavior.  As part of my own releasing, I will be getting a tattoo that symbolizes allowing my true nature, imperfections and all, to be what it is without self-punishment.

There is a Navajo word, ‘hozro’ that translates, roughly, to ‘moving with the current flow of energy.’  Rather than struggle in this season, allow the energetic current to carry you.  You can travel this river into the night and back out again.  You can release the burdens you no longer wish to carry into those dark waters and turn to face the dawn lighter and more ready for the adventures to come.

May the flow find you, may it bear you up, and may it carry us all into the light of the coming year renewed.

Proximity

Published May 21, 2012 by ireneglasse

Last night, I facilitated an indoor Dark Moon Labyrinth Walk at the UUCF.  Indoor walks are beautiful in a different way than outdoor ones.  The environment is more controlled–the temperature is even, the light consistent, there are fewer distractions.  The sanctuary where we roll out the canvas Chartres Labyrinth is acoustically bouncy, so the music we play is very haunting and echo-y in the stillness.  Indoor walks there are a bit like falling into a pool of peace and stillness.

Yesterday’s walk was particularly interesting for me due to the transition in my state of mind over the course of the evening.  You see, I arrived angry.  Furious, actually.  I have pretty decent control over what shows and what doesn’t, so I don’t think anyone helping set up noticed.  But inside, I was one enraged, roiling pot of flames and fury.

Some wonderful folks helped to pull the chairs to the borders of the sanctuary and we rolled out the Labyrinth.  I put on my prayer shawl and stood at the entrance to the Labyrinth to welcome people to their walk.

And a funny thing happened.

You see, I was concentrating on putting out the right energy for a Labyrinth walk.  I wasn’t really thinking about my anger.  It  was just sitting there in the back of my mind, simmering away.  But as people entered the pattern and began to walk, the flames went down.  As I stood there, my back to the flickering tealights, purple Labyrinth and walkers, the pieces of the day I was so angry about turned around inside my head, showing how different they looked from another perspective.  Showing how my point of view had gotten in the way.  How my jump to anger had then made it impossible for me to listen, or to see things from a different vantage.  How holding to rage silenced compassion.

All the anger I was carrying fell away like so many stones tumbling down a hill.  I almost laughed at one point.  I hadn’t even *walked* the Labyrinth yet!  The effect of a Labyrinth on me is, at this point, so strong that I can’t even stand near one without the quiet energy of that Sigil going to work on the inside of my head. By about 10 minutes into the walk, I was balanced again, if feeling a bit rueful about the mistakes I made during the day.

One of the gentlemen attending the walk was gracious enough to take over my post at the entrance of the Labyrinth so I could walk as well.  As I did, I focused on releasing all the blocks that tripped me up that day.  Judgement.  Single-mindedness.  A lack of compassion.  Not listening.  Anger.

The temper that used to get me into barfights is obviously still present, just changed in form.  Something else to work on as I walk this winding path.  And good to know–I had been pretending that I’m better with my anger now since I don’t hit people anymore.  Granted, the symptoms are less severe, but the root cause is definitely still there.

I carried the peace of the Center with me as I walked back out of the Labyrinth.  I gently touched the shoulder of the man who had taken over as Guardian for me to thank him for my opportunity to walk.  He emerged, startled, from a deep place.  I hadn’t realized how far he’d gone within–in retrospect, I should have brought him out more gently.  Anyway.  I thanked him for the opportunity to walk.  He thanked me as well, saying he hadn’t realized how cool it was to stand at the entrance of a Labyrinth as facilitator. I realized he was right about that.  It’s a different way of experiencing the energy of a walk.  But still potent.  After all, my own proximity to other walkers, to the Labyrinth, was what brought me back down so I could actually see what went wrong earlier in the day.

Another beautiful walk, and another affirmation of my favorite quote about the Labyrinth: “The Labyrinth meets you where you are, gives you what you need, and nurtures a web of interpersonal connections.”

The Labyrinth met me angry.

The Labyrinth gave me peace.

We all hugged and bid each other safe travels we left.  The web, you see.

I apologized when I got home.