2023 the year we learn to listen to life
Week 43--in which we ponder what it takes to welcome the life that wants to be lived amid a world imploding with violence and grief
Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,
By the time you read this, you will have been moved—dare I say, transformed—by the lunar eclipse that crossed the face of the full moon on Saturday. This is the second in what has been a very intense eclipse season. And it matters. It matters a lot. Even if you pay no attention to astrology, your body does. It feels the cosmic dance, especially the movements of the moon. If the moon can move massive bodies of water on earth, just imagine what her magnetic energies do to your body, which is mostly water.
So, yeah, you felt the lunar eclipse.
Saturday’s eclipse was on the South Node in Taurus. The South Node holds the energy of the past. Your past. My past. Our collective past.
An eclipse on the South Node is a call to release and transmute the old stories, the old wounds, the stale beliefs, all the crusty lies we’ve carried for so long we forgot they were lies.
When I first stumbled upon the process that became The Lotus and the Lily, I had zero knowledge of astrology. I was oblivious to the ancient wisdom of the Celtic pagan calendar. I knew nothing about the beauty of the movement of the moon in my own body. And yet, somehow, with my toes on the brink of bankruptcy, I intuited that I better spend the autumnal harvest season right up to the Winter Solstice looking back at the life I had created thus far, picking out whatever good I could hold on to, and discarding everything else.
That “everything else” turned out to be massive.
If you’ve read the book or come to any of my annual The Lotus and the Lily intensives, you know that when I released all the old crusty stories that fall of 2009 and created a mandala on January 1 that held six conditions that I hoped would bring in a beautiful new life, I somehow jumped out of the clutches of bankruptcy. In sixty days. I still shake my head in wonder. How did that happen!
As 2010 unfolded, I sensed this wasn’t a one-time miracle. So that November, I repeated the process and several of you joined me. And sure enough, more miracles unfolded for me and for everyone in that intensive. That year and every year since.
Even now, after leading The Lotus and the Lily intensives for thirteen years, I find there is more to excavate. This doesn’t depress me. Quite to the contrary, it excites me. I’m on fire to look back at 2023 (yee gods what a year) and to not stop there, but to also look back at the first four years of this wild 2020 decade.
Because I want to clear away anything and everything that stands in the way of living a life I love. A life that makes a difference. A life I came here to live. Not just for myself, but to do my part to help heal the world.
There’s a lot to clear out.
After three years of studying the theocratic femicide that exploded into the horrors of the witch burnings, I can’t miss all the insidious hooks of racist, misogynist, hierarchical thinking that poison our world. From the micro story of my one small life all the way to the macro story exploding at this very moment in violence and catastrophes around the world.
But—and this is important—it’s not just about releasing the old.
This eclipse on the South Node shows us clearly that seeing what needs to be released and doing the karmic work to untangle the hold it has on us, is part one of a beautiful two-part story. We release the old to free ourselves to flow into our dharma, our soul purpose, or in astro terms, our North Node.
I know this beautiful story, this radiant dharma.
I’ve spent five years rediscovering the ecstasy of original prayer. The way we prayed before invading tribes introduced the strange idea of sky gods. Angry sky gods.
Over the last five years as a prayer artist, I’ve been blessed to receive tastes of the power, the beauty, the sheer joy that our ancestors knew when they prayed, not to distant all-powerful male gods, but in reverence to the Goddess and all her creations. All life. Including ourselves.
This two-fold process of cleansing away what is stale to create an open space for the life that wants to be lived is the story of the 30-day process of The Lotus and the Lily distilled into its holy essence.
But let me invite John O’Donohue to describe it for you in a short stunning prayer:
"May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more."
That last line does me in. Let me waste my heart on fear no more.
It’s so beautiful. So poetic. And so hard. Especially right now. It’s not easy to pull my mind back from the fear of not knowing what’s to come. My body back from the fear of illness and death. My heart back from the savage sorrow of grief. My anger back from the brink of rage.
I did not know how to end this Notes from the Field.
So I looked up the mystical Chandra in Inside Degrees for this moment in the cosmic dance. Taurus 6.
Listen to this in light of John O’Donohue’s call to live a life we can love and waste our hearts on fear no more.
"The heart feels everything. It burns with a fever. Inside the burning something marvelous is forming. Grace permits the realization of the heart’s desires. You become a vessel to demonstrate, to share the beauty, the love, and the light. …
You are warming through slowly, contemplatively, those qualities of soul that are best entered upon free from reflection. The inner life is rich beyond measure with seeds which will be fertilized and are given forth in the fullness of time, with a consummate touch of having been through the fire to attain what is true and lasting.”
Come, waste your heart on fear no more with me at The Lotus and the Lily—Harvest 2023, Seed 2024. Let us plant those seeds and fertilize them with our love and our prayers.
You are needed now. All of you. Embodying and loving the life that wants to be lived in and through and as you.
And only you.
We gather for 5 Tuesdays from November 14 to December 12 at 6-8:15pm Eastern, then take three weeks off so everyone can enjoy the winter solstice holidays. We then reconvene on Sunday, January 7 at 2p eastern to celebrate and bless our 2024 mandalas.
We have lots of members joining us in Europe, so we'll have a UK/Europe watch party on Thursdays, time to be determined.
All the details, dates, and registration options are on this page at my site.
NOTE: All the gatherings will be recorded and available for those who register for months to come. But it will NOT be offered On Demand. So, even if you plan on doing the process later, register now.
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