A personal message from April McMurtry
The Year of the Body: Week 14
in which the body feels the urge to return once more to life and to love
Friends, soul writers, mystics, and lovers of prayer,
I always ask the mystic who will be leading our next prayer intensive to write a message just for you, the readers of these Notes from the Field letters on the Sunday before the intensive opens.
But when I looked at the calendar and saw that today is Easter in the West, (Orthodox Easter is May 2) I wondered if promoting an upcoming intensive would be appropriate.
I mentioned this to April McMurtry, creator of The Moon is My Calendar and our guide for Through the Looking Glass prayer intensive that opens next Sunday with a joyful "Moon Tea."
April laughed and said, actually talking about a moon intensive is perfect today because Easter is the one lunar holiday celebrated in the West.
If you pay any attention to Easter, you’ve noticed that it moves all over the calendar. It isn’t tied to a specific date like say, Christmas, which is always December 25. April explained that Easter falls on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the vernal Equinox. Got that?
So today, Sunday, April 4, is ripe with sacred and celestial meaning.
Today is the celebration of the resurrection of life, not just in the story of one holy man, but in the resurrection of all life in the greening of Mother Earth.
Even if you have no interest in the religious meaning of the day, you can’t help but feel the energy in the air (in the Northern Hemisphere) as life rises out of the cold ground.
This week tiny baby grasshoppers arrived en masse. And I saw my first black racer snake scoot across the pavers. And I noticed tiny bud shoots on my ferns preparing to unfurl.
That’s Spring in Florida.
But my friends in the North, are blessed—oh so blessed—to see the glorious purple crowns of crocus poking through the last crusts of snow.
For me, crocus is the harbinger not just of Spring but of Her return.
And, if all that wasn't sensuous and thrilling enough, you might also notice that today is 4-4-2021.
When you add the digits, you arrive at 13—a powerful feminine divine number if ever there was one. I dare say Mother Earth, Mother Moon, and The Mother are all smiling.
And so on this sacred day of the return of life, enjoy this lovely letter from April McMurtry.
I began walking on the moon path after my first child was born 13+ years ago and I desperately needed to find a rhythm and guide to anchor me in the upheaval of my life. After my second child was born, I started looking for a way to pray. Now these paths converge—and in this Prayer Intensive I am delighted to explore how the path is made by walking, by praying, by communing, by drinking the nectar of the moon.
Gazing through the looking glass, I can imagine the chaotic tea party with Alice in Wonderland, feeling empathy for her disorientation and wondering: Am I coming or going? Shrinking or growing? Which way is up? And why is that rabbit always making me feel like there is not enough time, that I am always late, always behind?
The moon helps me remember. To remember the body, the needs for nourishment and belonging. To know that every breath is a lunar cycle, and every lunar cycle is a lifetime. To remember my purpose and hear my name whispered by my soul’s sweet lover. To be witnessed and seen through the eyes of the great mother. To know that all cycles have phases of expansion and phases of contraction.
For many of us, it is difficult to have an awareness of cycles when time appears as a grid on the Gregorian calendar.
Mystery, trust, intuition, and observation of the natural world are essential to the journey from linear to lunar time. Tracking with the moon on a circular calendar can bring you back home to yourself, to what it feels like to be a part of the natural world. I offer these two questions to deepen a practice of self-study in relationship with cycles over time:
Where is the moon right now?
Where am I right now?
This inquiry strengthens a practice of co-regulating with the moon’s rhythms to help you to access the cycles and rhythms inside yourself. It is a relationship that is both mystical and practical.
Looking up is a way of looking within.
When you recognize yourself in the cycles of nature, you know that what goes unnoticed in nature, goes unnoticed within the self. Honoring yourself as a cyclical being means appreciating the phases of birth, life, death, and regeneration. Over and over. From moonrise to moonset.
The unique qualities of each phase are a beautiful reminder of constant change:
- the budding waxing crescent on the eastern horizon at sunset
- the glowing first quarter moon overhead at dusk ready to cast her moonshadows
- the powerful full moon tempting you to bathe in her light rather than sleep, perhaps to dream awake!
- the last quarter moon already gone from the sky by lunchtime
- the faint waning crescent disappearing into the dark new moon as a reminder that all things that come into form must also dissolve out of form
The moon is a guide and ancestor who teaches about impermanence, the one that grants permission to show up as you are each day.
Thanks to impermanence, anything is possible.
Developing a nourishing connection with the moon is like accessing your inner guide, daily. Since the moon travels in the day as much as she travels in the night, you must tune in and know her ways, on her terms!
May the moon be your muse, your mother, your companion, your lover, your ancestor and guide on this journey through the cycles of time.
If you feel called to connect more deeply with the moon, to drink her elixir, I hope you will join us for the fabulous prayer intensive: Through the Lunar Looking Glass!
“A bottle labeled drink me.” I wonder what flowers and leaves you will brew in your moon tea? What mysteries are waiting to be remembered? What wants to be revealed through creative practice and deep soul inquiries?
There are many ways to drink the moon.
I am looking forward to connecting and sharing in beloved community.
About me: I am a daughter, sister, grand-daughter, wife, friend, and mother. My grandmothers were both first-generation born in the US from Ireland and England. Growing up I loved learning from the plants in the garden with my father as he pruned the cherry trees, planted tomatoes, harvested chard, and magically turned all the “waste” into fertile compost.
I used to attach a lot of my value to work and productivity - which is why I was drawn to the soothing balm of the moon. Developing cyclical awareness is one small piece of a bigger vision to radically restructure life to honor all phases of the cycles and to live in greater reciprocity.
I’ve lived in many parts of Latin America and taught Spanish and Art before hearing the language of the Moon. This is the poetry of my soul.
Now, do you see why I asked April to lead us in Through the Lunar Looking Glass!
We open next Sunday, April 11 at 2pm Eastern with a fun Moon Tea. And close on Sunday, May 9 with another Moon Tea.
In between, we'll gather on 4 Tuesdays from 7-9:15 pm Eastern to begin to develop a loving relationship with the Moon. There will be UK/European watch parties if you wish to watch the gathering with friends.
And, as always, everything is recorded and available on a password-protected resource page.
Through the Lunar Looking Glass Prayer Intensive
to drinking the nectar of the moon!
PS Emma Kupu Mitchell received the recipe for the sacred anointing oil for this intensive from Mary Magdalene and the name of the oil is The Nectar of The Moon!
When you register, follow the active link on your receipt and watch the video Emma and I made about the oil on the resource page.