Virgo New Moon Mandala
August 27- September 24, 2022
“In the moment Something Happens significance is not always discernible. I have found only in retrospect can the full impact or meaning of an event, or a series of events, be discerned.”
“The Virgin archetype within each of us knows our own wholeness apart from our doing in the world. Call on this aspect of yourself to support you in spending more time savoring the gift of being exactly who you are.”
~ Birthing the Holy
by Christine Valters Paintner
“Lord, let me let You love me.”
~ John O’Malley, SJ, 1927 – 2022
“When the mind is open then spirit can enter
Pure receptivity that sponsors spiritual breakthrough”
“The spirits of the Earth are awake. They are flying through the cloud painted sky. They are swimming beneath the cold water. They are running over the prairies ahead of the storm. They are watching from the forest labyrinth. They are our siblings in creation, our brothers and sisters of the breath. They help us hold the world in balance. They bring us blessings of wisdom and healing. The spirits are awake to us as we must be awake to them, for only together can the song of creation be sung as it was meant to be sung, a chorus echoing through the long canyons of time.”
~ Steven Charleston,
Retired Episcopal Bishop of Oklahoma
You don’t really think about things as they’re occurring. They only seem important after the fact… after a series of connections brings you back to that point of origin. The car in which I had raised my children was no longer reliable. It was an old car with many, many memories. Lovie has been driving it and the time had come to put it to rest. He and I decided to donate it so that someone could benefit in some way. It was my task to clean out the car and make sure there was nothing left inside. Mind you, I raised my children in this car and how the car came to us was really pretty magical.
It was was 2007 I believe and it was time for me to get a new car. Lovie asked me what I had in mind. I said I didn’t know but I’ve been seeing this green one I like.. or “I saw this green car today.” “Green” was key. Lol…. The day arrived and he and I went to the dealership. Lovie said to me rather sternly, “We’re just looking today. We’re not buying.“ “Ok. All right,” I got it. I understood. I had young children and a dog so I knew I needed a four-door. Having a hybrid was also important to me at the time. And remember “green”. We got to the dealership and we explained to the salesman that we were looking for a four-door hybrid. His response: “There’s a green one right out front.“ Lol… These occurrences are not unusual for me. My life can seem pretty magical sometimes. Lovie just looked at me. We both new we were taking that car home that day. We have plans. “We’re not buying anything today.” Sometimes God has other plans. It was a rather bright green but I will say it was always REALLY easy to find it in a full parking lot. Lol…
I did pretty well cleaning out the car… until I found one of my daughters hair bands… small, round, brown – the color of her hair. That’s when the door of my heart came ajar, and one could peer in… if one wanted to. Vulnerable… emotional. As the car was being towed away, a beautiful little dragonfly flew by and I thought, “How sweet.” Dragonflies have been important to me for a very long time. For me they are the symbol of the spiritual journey… a combination of St. Theresa of Avila’s silk worm and the peeling of an onion – a common symbol of spiritual cleansing… a peeling away if you will. The first time I encountered Dragonfly I needed to know everything about it. That began my lessons in the language of symbolism – the language of Spirit. They mark times of great change for me… sometimes great healing. Not always easy to discern… often only in retrospect is the message made clear. This was certainly the closing of a chapter in my life. Sweet of Dragonfly to stop by… and I thought nothing more of it.
I made a new friend on Facebook this cycle through Summer Camp, hosted by Donna Drozda. Kristy makes prayer beads. She posted one one on Facebook with a dragonfly on it and I thought, “How beautiful.” And thought nothing more of it. Remember… great change… or great healing.
“You must scratch the surface until you reach the heart of the matter.”
~ Stefano Ricci Commercial, Sculpter
“Don’t just slay your demons;
dissect them and figure out what they’ve been feeding on.”
~The Man Frozen in time
Shared by Poetry of Monsters/FB
As mentioned above, I attended Donna Drozda’s Sumer Camp during this cycle. During summer camp we’re often invited to name our fears. Just last year, I declared, “I’m not afraid of anything!” And I absolutely believed it! On this day this year, this day of naming our fears, Donna shared a video… an episode of Dr. Who, “Van Gogh visits the gallery.”
“He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and magnificence and joy of our world… no one had ever done it before.”
I have a hard time connecting to fear. But pain? Emotional pain? THAT I understand. The flood gates opened and I cried all day. This is one of three events over the course of a lifetime… one every 20-ish years that connects me to the pain that was buried so deeply within me. What was my fear? Truly. Being. Seen. I wrote to Kristy and told her I needed to buy those prayer beads with the dragonfly on them. It was highly symbolic for me and marked a time of great healing.
As I rewatched this Dr. Who clip as I was writing, a pair of cardinals flew by my window and landed in the tree outside. How synchronistic. Cardinals are symbolic of my maternal grandfather. Since there was also a female, though my maternal grandmother typically comes to me in Robin, I think she’s represented as well. Know this… we are never alone.
Kristy shared a quote from “Celtic Benediction: Morning and Night Prayer” by J. Philip Newell. It’s a WONDERFUL resource for someone new to Liturgy of the Hours – or for someone who perhaps would like to simplify their prayer for a time. I ordered the book. The prayers are rich with sacred symbolic imagery! When it arrived I opened it to the appropriate prayer for the day to find this:
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Considering the healing I had just received it could not have been more timely.
“One look at her you can tell she’s off.
Them smiley ones… always give me the willies.”
Mr. Ray Buxley, H.S. Janitor
Bones, S5 E17 The Death of the Queen Bee
The next day I was watching this episode of Bones. I AM one of those “smiley ones”. I had a boss once tell me “it’s not normal. No one is that happy ALL the time. It’s just not natural.” My maternal grandmother gave me a plaque when I was young. It was a Holly Hobby. On the plaque it said, “Smile, God loves you.” I have it to this day in my bathroom drawer. I see it often. I also figure I have no right to bring my pain, fear, panic, you name it, to anyone else’s party. I figure, who wants to be around that?
The title of the episode from the quote above invited me to ponder the symbolism of the Queen Bee. Very interesting…
After calculating the harmonics for the cycle I landed on the number Four. Truth be told, there was nothing! And I had to reach back a bit to to get to 4. Early in the cycle the 4 pointed star came to mind and I knew that that would be an important image for the mandala. As I placed it in the circle it spoke to me of an opening… like the circle was breaking open. Little did I know, I too, would be breaking open. As the cycle progressed I was looking for different images of four. Structural, foundational are typical meanings, but this 4 felt different somehow. On September 4 the Eastern Church celebrates The Feast of Mary as The Burning Bush: She Who Stands on Holy Ground. The icon of The Unburnt Bush was a perfect inspiration – a new way to display “4”. In Birthing the Holy, Christine Vaulter Painter writes:
“Mary is the bush kindled with the divine fire.
She bears this living flaming in her heart.
This flame does not consume and reduce to ash but
brings radiance and fullness, rather than diminishment.”
The icon spoke to me so I added the second star, 4+4 (bush + fire) to the mandala. The four larger orbs came with it, Father, Sun, Spirit, Mary/humanity and created the fish-like cross in the center. A beautiful dance, don’t you think? The nine orbs came later and symbolize “something’s coming”… something too distant yet to know what it’s about. 9… endings AND beginnings.
“We must kindle the divine fire within ourselves.”
One of the ancient desert mothers
Quoted in Birthing the Holy, Christine Valters Painter
My meditation candle this cycle was the Compassion Candle. It did not quite fit in the holder as the end had been bumped… kind of like a square peg in a round hole. Essential oils were White Sage which I used in spray form, and Rosemary which I used to anoint myself. Virgo Tea from my favorite ritual tea purveyor, LOVE her teas!!! This one is particularly delicious. New to me, this cycle, was Pink Pagoda Calcite, a stone of compassion.
New to me as well was a set of Unshakeable Inner Peace Oracle Cards gifted to me by a compassionate friend. The first two times I shuffled the deck and drew a card I got the same card… 44: Come Together, We Need Each Other, asking Where I have been separating myself or pushing against others and the world. With COVID, separation is most prevalent. With this card I am being nudged back into the the stream.
The primary harmonic, as I said, was 4. In Donna’s courses we are often invited to create a Conscious Closure site meditation, this time by creating a card using one of the five shapes we had worked with this past spring, from “Signs of Life: Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them” by Angeles Arrien, then writing Yes on the back, and a note to ourselves on the inside. I also created a mobile. As you can imagine, Square was speaking to me this cycle.
This cycle in particular, as Virgo is symbolic of service, I have been considering what God is asking of me at this time in my life. I often particularly ponder this when we move to a new location. When we left Detroit 20 years ago it was on my heart to help the dying in some way. I’ve been looking into ways that I might do that in this new location but there is no flow there… nothing opens for me. Even while in New Jersey, I was “told” to stop singing. Just today it occurred to me there are many kinds of death… physical is the one we typically think of first. But there is also emotional death, mental death, spiritual death. Perhaps that’s what God meant? Discernment is always an interesting “game”. Something is coming… of that I am sure. Whatever the path, like Mary, my answer is YES!
Love, Hugs and Blessings,
NOTE: I receive no compensation from these links. They are just favorites from this cycle that I wanted to share. 💛🌻