Aries New Moon
April 18, 2015
I work with a group of people at my church to provide a catechetical or faith-learning/sharing experience once a month for our faith formation families -those whose children are in grades 1 through 8. We gather together for Mass and then share a light meal. After the meal the children are typically dismissed by grade to discuss a topic on their level and the parents remain in Hoffman Hall where an adult member of our parish leads a discussion of the topic on an adult level. Twice this past year the children stayed in the room and instead of the typical instruction, pageants were presented – one during Advent on Christmas and the other during Lent on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. I typically provide dinner music – a compilation of contemporary Christian music on topic played while they eat; quiet music for meditative times which I play on an electric keyboard and sometimes a closing experience which might include hand gestures and light dancing to an upbeat contemporary Christian song – again on topic. During the development of the Lenten program I was having difficulty working with the group for this particular session. Unable to effectively communicate my position, regrettably and to my dismay, I lost the argument.
I felt that it was really important for the person in charge to get to know me better, because I felt that if he really knew me, if he knew my background and how I function (how my brain works) he would not have made the decisions he made. But with holy week on the heels of the event and as a liturgical musician a VERY busy time for me, there was no time to get together and talk about it – until now. In the first week of this I AM/Aries cycle, I found myself writing down my story, my education, my training, my work experience, certifications, who I am and my personality traits. Interesting, huh? They say timing is everything. Coincidence? I think not. G-d always has a plan! And the longer I live, the more I am aware of the role of the Divine in my life!
What a striking mandala this was to work with! So active! So filled with burgeoning potential! So much energy just ready to explode! Through a variety of shapes, Sandra brought together pairings of symbols that create this idea of expansion. Even the six-pointed star loses its straight edges and curves to accommodate the growth within. From the outside in then…
The red rim of Aries.
Next, the egg (yellow) pairs with a wider oval (pale green). The egg is a symbol of new life and in the early spring they are everywhere! What a perfect symbol for the beginning of this astrological new year.
Held within the egg is the six-pointed star with curved edges as mentioned above. While the six-pointed star is of ancient origin and is used in many religions with a variety of meanings, in Christianity, the six-pointed star is known as the Creator’s Star or the Star of Creation. Its six points stand for the six days of creation, and also represent the six attributes of G-d: power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy and justice. Some of its points extent beyond the “egg” like the beak of a baby bird tapping its way out into the sunlight… out into the air where it can finally breathe.
In that same plane, are two, crisscrossed, paired, egg-like ovals, also in green and yellow, each presenting one egg within another. Together, they not only have this feeling of expansion, but also have an “electron-like” quality giving movement and energy to the mandala.
Within the Star of Creation and the crisscrossed eggs, is the nucleus of the piece:
We begin with a seven-pointed star which you might miss because of all the “bubbles” surrounding it – more on that in a minute. The Seven Pointed Star from a Christian perspective represents the seven gifts of the Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord, and delight in the Lord. http://www.planetgast.net/symbols/stars/stars.html
About the fear mentioned here… it is not as in “to be afraid of,” it is more in the manner of what we might call mysterium tremendum et fascinans – or AWE! And the interesting thing about this star for me is that when you draw the seven points, you can draw the whole star without ever lifting your pencil. This lends a never ending, eternal quality to the piece.
Now to the bubbles I mentioned! Well, they look like bubbles to me – blowing bubbles or making bubbles and how they multiply and stay connected when you blow air into the mixture. They can also be seen as neutrons and protons or even cell division. In any event, these interconnected circles express the beginnings of tremendous potential and are thus colored in the pastel colors of the spectrum. There are 13 circles in total, seven smaller and six larger. The seven smaller circles are encased in another seven pointed star though with tips rounded, almost as if held within a membrane.
Seven small circles, then: http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu7.php
In addition to the seven gifts of the Spirit already mentioned, seven also has the qualities of being a perfect number, of divine abundance, a sense of change after the completion of a cycle and of positive renewal, the totality of the created universe, and divine union.
Having their source within the circle but venturing beyond the membrane are the Six larger circles: http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu6.php
- Its form is a continuous curve without angle, without line. It is the total love. It is almost spiral, it is on the point of going towards the infinity. 6 is also the form of the fetus in gestation.
- Sign of the mediation between the principle and its manifestation.
- Number of the indecision and the choice that is required. (6 almost always has this quality for me.)
Thirteen (7+6): http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu13.php
- Number that cleans and purifies.
- The number 13 brings the test, the suffering and the death. It symbolizes the death to the matter or to oneself and the birth to the spirit: the passage on a higher level of existence.
- For the cabalist, the number 13 is the meaning of the Snake, the dragon, Satan and the murderer. But it is also for Christians the representative number of the Virgin Mary, she whose mission is to crush the head of Satan.
- It is the element of too, that which makes pass from a cycle to another with what this change implies of anxieties by the arrival of a new unknown cycle.
- Represents the eternal love illustrated by Jacob and his twelve sons, Jesus-Christ and his twelve apostles.
- The thirteenth mystery of the Tarot does not have a name. It marks the uncertainty, the hesitation, the fickleness or again a transformation, the end of something (the death) and a renewal, a rupture, that is to say a very important change.
At the very center we find another Star of Creation and held within this second six-pointed star we find the center – a diamond on point:[This diamond shape] is emblematic of time and space as complimentary elements. This rune speaks of the partnership between night and day with the center-point represented as the dawn. Metaphorically, the dawn marks an awakening to all new understandings. This diamond motif is seen throughout the ages and cultures. For our purposes, we look to the Futhark (rune alphabet) for symbolic insight where this is known as the Ingwuz rune and is the foundational geometric symbol of creation. Indeed, ancient European tribes deem this symbol to represent the literal image of the birth canal or vagina. So, literally, this symbol means creation of life.
More on the Ingwuz rune found here: http://www.runemaker.com/futhark/ingwaz.shtml
I began the month preparing for this long awaited meeting with the person in charge of the group. Again, I felt if he knew me better, he would not have made the decision he had made. Using the three judgments used to select music for Liturgy as my base, I calmly stated my qualifications, adding into the conversation my personality traits from the perspective of Myers Briggs (INTJ) and the Enneagram (1w9). (Funny I am most often pegged as a Two… but through this process I learned that INTJ’s hate small talk – which I do! And I would rather be helping out doing stuff than sitting and chatting. (Lol) I also talked about my perception of how I had been treated and also, what I saw from the perspective of the interior witness – there are always two sides to every story. Trial always brings a gift and for the first time I could see ego at work – mine and others.
The meeting went very well and the information was well received. I also had a renewed sense of self and as a result asked for a raise to bring my pay up to the industry standard at one of the parishes at which I sometimes sub if it was within their means to do so. Later in the month I had another conversation with a different group of people. Again, I began by stating my qualifications, work history and personality profile as they pertained to the issues at hand and then went on to calmly discuss my concerns and suggestions for improvement – because that’s what INTJs do…they’re always pulling the box apart and looking for ways to make things better.
The first striking image found in nature was the way that some trees were hanging onto their old leaves. For whatever reason, these trees never dropped all of their fall foliage. Here it is spring, and as they welcome in the new growth, they’re still hanging on to old, dead, leaves. The questions posed by this symbol were, “What are you still hanging on to?, “What do you need to let go of?” and the command to “Let go of the old and make room for the new!”
The second striking image was that of a hummingbird and her joy-filled message that connected to a Centering Prayer session. See Facebook for “the rest of the story.”
And finally, in the final days of the cycle, I prepared to return to where my story began, back to my hometown to lead sung prayer for my aunt’s memorial service. On the last day of the cycle I traveled with my family to my Son’s graduation, and the area where much of my early work experience and early adult development occurred. It was almost like an end cap to the month – returning to where it all began… to where I began this life.
For those of us who minister at funerals, we know how emotionally challenging that can be, but doing one for a family member all the more so. And yet, as I shared on Facebook, as I was preparing for this event, I was also being prepared! In the two weeks prior to the event, G-d was there in many and varied ways, loving me, guiding me, preparing me to minister to my family at this tender time.
Because of the events of this particular cycle, and the personal work I did putting all the pieces of my puzzle together and really seeing all the aspects together for the first time, I can say that, for the first time in this life, I am standing in my own power. I am really okay with who I am whether anyone else understands me or not. I get it! It all finally makes sense. I know who I am and where I belong – and where I do not. I know what makes me tick and how I function. I don’t feel like I need to justify myself. Finally standing in the light, seeing myself as I am, I can finally breathe freely and am comfortable in my own skin. In addition, through the events of the last two weeks in particular, I am reminded of Whose I am, that I am never alone, that I am wildly and unimaginably loved, and guided by the One who is as close to me as “butterfly kisses.”
The creation of life… the creation of a life… a joy-filled life… patterned on the attributes of I AM: a powerful life (not like the kind that one lord’s over others, but rather, standing in one’s own personal power), a wise, majestic, loving, justice seeking, and merciful life. What a change! What a challenge! What a way to start this new year!
Love, Hugs and Blessings,