New Moon in Sagittarius
December 11, 2015
“I Seek” and “I Understand”
The beauty of being able to publish my own posts is the ability to update and change as I feel the need. Interestingly enough, I had written and published one post and woke up the morning of the new moon with something an entirely different in mind. Perhaps the Mercury Retrograde? I know I typically have difficulty synthesizing the month when that is in effect. Lol
On the 11th of December, the day of the new moon in Sagittarius, I was preparing for the last of the major events for the volleyball team – the end of season banquet on the 12th. It was a beautiful event and well celebrated. Now just a few loose ends to tie up and I can hand that off to the next volleyball mom. Though an added stressor to my life, I was grateful for the lessons learned. The first and foremost was to bring what you have and let God do the rest – a total hands off approach…or perhaps more appropriately “hands open.”
The following week was a busy one with my annual doctor’s appointment, the monthly Prayer shawl meeting and all the preparation required for that. This month we were preparing for our Advent Blessing for those who wish to have a child or are currently pregnant or in the process of adopting This blessing is always a beautiful expression of family. I also sang for a funeral that week and was able to attend a concert my friend was singing in. The following week, feeling late to the party, I finally started holiday baking – but, just a few of the family favorites. Our son arrived home and the tree went up and was decorated on Christmas Eve which seems to be happening more and more in this season of my life. But, best of all and most importantly, the family was together. With my oldest now employed and my youngest looking at colleges, who knows how many more of these “together times” we will have?
As the Solstice drew near, I found myself drawn to the darkness -perhaps sensitive to the inward moving energy of the season? I seem to have the most energy and do most of my creative work in the dark of night these days. In addition, at this stage of my life it seems I am once again approaching “womb time” – letting go of the familiar and questioning, “What next?” – a time of mystery, questioning, wondering, pondering, dreaming…
My favorite image from the month came from the pruning back of the “brooms”/trees in our neighborhood. I picked up some bud-studded branches from our tulip tree that were lying on the ground and put them in a vase in my studio to await spring. As of this writing one luscious, pink bud is already beginning to peek out of it’s fuzzy winter coat. Hope in the making.
All throughout the cycle, I was enjoying an online retreat from Abbey of the Arts and seeking confirmation for my guiding word for 2016.
At first glance the flower was most evident to me. Since I was celebrating the season of Advent in preparation for the Christmas season, the poinsettia came to mind with its red, velvety petals, though the center had to be white (for purity) and gold (for wisdom).
A prominent number here is Seven – perfect completion, echoed in the teardrops which form the layers of petals and in the seven sided polygon, or heptagon, which surrounds the flower. Pictured is an obtuse heptagon, (the other style being acute – think “sharp” and “pointy”.) The heptagon can be used as a symbol for the “love contained inside” whether towards another person, a pet, oneself or one’s God. The obtuse form used in this mandala (think full or soft sided shown in pink) suggests “passivity, contentment and attuning with nature and its forces; of healthy rhythms and normal sexuality; of balanced feelings and satisfied desires; of normal receptivity and awareness of the feelings of others”. ~ http://hpathy.co.uk/Seven.html
From the same site: The heptagon is typically associated with Venus – a feminine symbol. Also around the flower is found an equilateral triangle, which I often interpret as a symbol for the Divine. Seen here pointing in the upward direction, this triangle is a masculine symbol. As you can see, I used the Pantone colors for 2016 to represent these two areas.
15 spokes of the wheel in gold symbolize “a dynamic and creative agent;  represents the blooming of the life in the creation”. R Allendy ~ http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu15.php
There are six circles that create three sections of the mandala, perhaps representing body, mind and spirit – the totality of the human being.
The background color is the color of the spectrum associated with Sagittarius.
This mandala, in totality, represents the human being in full flower… content, in tune, balanced, detached from desires, fully alive, concerned for others, living from the center… truly love incarnate.
My Word for 2016
As we came to the end of 2015 I began to see the connection…the short taste of a lesson from 2015 that would become the ongoing, over arching lesson for the coming year. HeArtist, Donna Drozda, has coined 2016 as the year of “Compassion in Action.” It came on full force in the first week of 2016 and the lessons from my guiding word began.
The word “Joy” chose me very early in the process this year. As always, I look for a saint, an image (typically Willow Tree) and a prayer or blessing to accompany me. Once these fall into place the word, in my mind, is confirmed.
Since I started the 100 Mandala challenge and will continue that journey well into 2016 I decided to choose St. Hildegard of Bingen to accompany me. St. Hildegard, born in 1098, was a German Benedictine abbess, artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, theologian and polymath (one whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.) What a fascinating woman! There were so many reasons to choose her, but I selected her primarily as she was quite fond of mandalas, herself. She was canonized on May 10, 2012 as a Doctor of the Catholic Church.
I would like to say that I chose the image to accompany me as well, but like the word the image often chooses me and this year was no exception. One might think that the image of “Joy” would be of one bubbling over, gushing with happiness. But, God had another image in mind. The image that shimmered for me was The Angel of Grace from the Willow Tree Collection – a dark skinned angel with perfect posture and open hands – no slouching or grasping here. I do not think of her so much as a black angel per se, but rather, she represents for me the challenging or dark times of life and the need for grace in those moments of sorrow, disappointment, frustration, aggravation or distress. It is a simple thing to be joyful in easy times – much more challenging to be joyful in the difficult ones. So my guiding word is asking for a level of maturity and self-less-ness, then… of pausing, stepping back, letting go and trusting in the broader picture (which I often cannot see) hands open to let go and let God – and embodying a joy-filled spirit of helpfulness rather than the drama that often accompanies something “I” do not want to do or perhaps “don’t feel like doing” in that moment. This level of maturity allows for God’s much broader vision. It allows for what “is” with acceptance knowing that one is a very small piece in the grand design.
I once had a friend tell me I had an eerie “spidey sense” about things and if this feeling I have is on point, the coming year will be a challenging one with many invitations to allow the light of joy into dark places and spaces. Using the garden metaphor I have been using for the past several springs, I was thinking that the coming year might actually be a burning year – a clearing technique one might use to burn vegetation to be tilled and turned into compost. But the energy doesn’t feel that devastating – at least not at the moment. Rather, it feels more like weeding – or at the very least a time to be aware of the weeds in one’s garden/character. Lent comes early for me this year! Lol…
The last piece, then, the prayer/blessing: I leave you with this blessing, a personal paraphrase of Roman 15:13 by Bo Stern received via Facebook through a “share” from a dear friend. This more than anything confirmed my word:
“May the Source of all hope dump buckets of joy and peace
over your heart, straight into your faith.
And may that joy-soaked faith
cause your tiny bit of hope to bubble up in your soul
and out through your hands and words,
into the world outside your window.
May it fall into dim corridors and dark corners,
causing beauty to grown wild all around.
You can put your muscles away;
the power of the Holy Spirit will perform this.”
It’s shaping up to be quite the year!
Love, Hugs and Blessings,
To see more on this cycle, check out the back posts on the Journal Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LynnKeefersMandalaJournal/
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