Dear ones, over the next few days we journey through the dark moon phase on our way to our next new moon, the New Moon in Pisces. The New moon occurs this Sunday (23rd Feb) in the final sign of the Zodiac calendar, we start a new zodiac cycle with the New Moon in Aries next month. New Moon in Pisces feels like the Crone of Winter handing over her final bits of wisdom to the Maiden of Spring who arrives with the Spring Equinox and the New Moon in Aries. It's lovely to sit with this transitional energy between the Crone and the Maiden, the Winter and the Spring. How can you infuse your transition into Spring with all the wisdom that you've gathered during the cold dark months of Winter? Once the maiden energy of Spring gets going it's hard to get her to stop and slow down so working out how to stay connected to some of the slow energy of winter as we journey through the rest of the year is key if we want to avoid burnout and overdoing it. Remember the seasonal and feminine archetypes are contained within the moon cycles so use the dark moon each month to spend time with your inner Crone - rest and reflect on the wisdom you've gathered since the last new moon.
Pisces is an often misunderstood sign so we wanted to dedicate a little more time putting this blog together to share with you the many archetypes of Pisces. Pisces is the last water sign of the zodiac and therefore carries with it a depth and maturity and, if we want, an opportunity to swim down into the waters of our unconscious and retrieve soul treasures. Pisces is represented by the two fish swimming in opposite directions, this represents it's mutable energy - one foot in winter and one foot in Spring but also signifies it's archetypal energy of the balance between the conscious and unconscious mind and how well we balance our spiritual life with our worldly life. Pisces is a deep and magical sign, ruled by the 12th House of Self-Knowing and the unconscious and the planets Neptune and Jupiter. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and Neptune is the planet of Universal Love and elevated consciousness. These influences mean that Pisces is always asking the big questions...Who am I? Where do we come from? What's the real meaning of human life? How can we be a conduit for the divine here on earth? Pisces is the Mystic of the Zodiac and provides us with a wonderful opportunity to tend to our spiritual life.
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen.”- Rumi
Emotions, dreams, spirituality, mermaids, selkies, sea witches, creativity, connection to the Divine, Soul Dreams, Sacred Contracts, The Divine Feminine, Intuition, Mysticism, Healing,
Mermaids, Selkies & Sea Witches
Due to Pisces' otherworldly nature and with it being a water element, it naturally lends itself to being associated with folklore creatures such as mermaids, selkies and sea witches. Here we explore these and their archetypes.
The Selkie, or seal folk in folklore are shapeshifters, in the water they take the form of the seal and they shed their sealskin to be able to walk and dance on land. If their sealskin is stolen they are unable to return to their home of the sea. This is a beautiful podcast talking about the folklore to do with selkies.
RETRIEVING THE SOULSKIN
In the book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes she tells the story of the Selkie, called 'Sealskin, Soulskin' - it's a hauntingly beautiful story about a Selkie woman who has her sealskin stolen by a lonely man. If you haven't read this book yet, please do, if you read it some time ago please read this story. After she tells the story, Dr Estes goes on to talk about the importance of retrieving the soulskin. We've pulled out some quotes from this section:
"The seal is one of the most beautiful of all symbols for the wild soul. Like the instinctual nature of women, seals are peculiar creatures who have evolved and adapted over eons."
“Over and over we lose this sense of feeling we are wholly in our skins by means already named as well as through extended duress. Those who toil too long without respite are also at risk. The soulskin vanishes when we are not paying attention to what we are really doing and particularly the cost to us."
"We lose the soulskin by becoming too involved with ego, by being too exacting, perfectionistic, or unnecessarily martyred, or driven by a blind ambition, or by being dissatisfied - about self, family, community, culture, world - and not saying or doing anything about it, or by pretending we are an ending source for others, or by not doing all we can to help ourselves. Oh, there are as many ways to lose the soul skin as there are women in the world."
"The only way to hold on to this sensual soulskin is to retain an exquisitely pristine consciousness about its value and uses.”
Another archetype that resonates with the duality of Pisces is the mermaid who again can live between two worlds - the deep depths of the ocean and then all the way up to the surface to breathe the air of the human realm. The mermaid represents that aspect of the feminine that needs time away from the world, just like when the moon doesn't appear in the sky and all of nature's happenings take place underground in winter, we need time away from everything to tend to our soul life. Time to dream, to vision, to create and swim in the waters of the Divine.
Over on Motherhouse of the Goddess there's a fantastic course called Mermaid Magick where you can spend 30 days journeying through folklore and magic:
THE SEA WITCH
When you think of a Sea Witch, the rather scary image of Ursula from the Little Mermaid may well come to mind. Just as the image of a Witch depicted only as a hag with green skin and warts is old fashioned (and somewhat patriarchal we might add), the same can be said for this image of the sea witch. The witch as an archetype is always complicated as we try to untangle folklore and legend from oppressive ways of retelling empowering female characters as scary women who wish to cause harm. So, let us approach the Sea Witch in another way. How does it feel when we view her instead as a Moon Goddess? Someone who is intune with the cycles and tides of life? How does it feel when we view her as a guide through the underworld, caring for us as we journey through our very own dark night of the soul? The sea witch teaches us the power of the Divine Feminine, the power of owning our wildish, cyclic nature and the power of trusting the gift of our intuition. The power that we can wield as women when we learn to be guided by our emotions instead of feel ashamed of them is vast.
GODDESSES ASSOCIATED WITH PISCES
Morgana Le Fay
The waters of emotion
One of the reasons that people tend to have an aversion to the moon moving through the sign of Pisces is that it tends to be an incredibly emotional time. Type in #pisces on Instagram and you're often met with a lot of memes about crying for days on end during Pisces season. It's important to pause during this time and ask ourselves whether we allow our emotions to flow? How well do we manage our emotional life? Is allowing feelings to rise to the surface something we try to avoid? When was the last time we had a good cry? How often do we let ourselves be vulnerable?
There is a fantastic free summit over on Motherhouse of the Goddess called Feast of the Sacred Waters if you want to dive deep into this theme deeper:
The combination of the New Moon in Pisces and Mercury Retrograde means that self care is key over the next few days. Use the water element in the form of a healing bath to help soothe frazzled emotions:
Dead Sea Salt
Bladderwrack seaweed if you can get hold of some
Frankincense essential oil 1 drop
Rose essential oil 1 drop
Geranium essential oil 1 drop
Bergamot essential oil 1 drop
Handful of dried or fresh rose petals
Mermaid Moon Milk
The mermaidy blue colour of this latte comes from Butterfly Pea Flower Powder which as well as being a divine colour helps alleviate stress and anxiety.
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs of coconut oil
1 tsp of maple syrup
1/4 tsp Ashwaghanda powder
1/2 tsp Butterfly Pea Flower Powder
A dash of Vanilla extract
Heat the Oat milk on the stove (don’t bring to the boil). Stir in the Ashwaghanda and
pea flower powder. Once you’ve gotten the milk up to the temperature that you want
either pour directly in to your mug or if you want to make it frothy pop it in a blender/milk frother for a few seconds. Stir in the tsp of maple syrup and enjoy!
Grab your moon journal, light some candles and pour yourself some mermaid moon milk. Get cosy and make sure you can be undisturbed for a little while. If you like, we've created a Pisces playlist on spotify that you can listen to here
- What are your soul dreams? What do you long for? Do you allow time for dreaming, visioning and manifesting?
- How can you bring the Divine into the everyday?
- Do you make time for journeying to your soul world?
- Do you have faith in something beyond the ordinary? Do you trust the flow of life?
- How do you honour the balance between the Maiden and the Crone within you? Is one more dominant than the other?
-What is hurting in your life? What needs healing?
- Do you pay attention to your dreams? If not, perhaps set the intention to keep a dream journal.
- Have you lost your soulskin or has it been stolen? Have you spent too long on land and how can you get back in the waters of your soul?
- Reflect on all that has taken place since the New Moon in Aries last year. What have you learnt? What are you grateful for? What would you like to release?
-Lastly, dedicate a page in your journal for your New Moon intentions. What do you want to welcome in this next moonth?
Wishing you a blessed New Moon dear ones xx
If you follow along with astrology, even in a basic way, then you are bound to have come across Mercury Retrograde and all the hilarious memes that come along with it. There can be a fair bit of anxiety in the lead up to Mercury Retrograde and it's beauty is often overlooked and a lot of this is to do with that fact that this is a time for slowing down, letting go of our reliance on technology and for getting our affairs in order - in our fast paced, productive world, these are not always things that we want to do.
Mercury Retrograde is when it appears that the planet Mercury is travelling backwards. Though this is simply an optical illusion and Mercury isn't in fact moving backwards, it has an energetic effect of reversing what this planet rules. Mercury rules communication, travel and technology and is often referred to as the trickster. During the few weeks when Mercury goes retrograde we can expect the flow of this planet in reverse - delays, confusion, misunderstandings and technology to more than likely let us down. Mercury retrograde began on Monday 17th Feb and will end on Tuesday 10th March.
But it's not all bad, Mercury Retrograde can actually present us with an opportunity to slow down, resist the temptation to start anything new (projects started during a retrograde can be hard to get off the ground) and instead focus your energy on getting everything up to date. It's a great time to get on top of admin, catch up on your chores, re-organise your home or office and do some spring cleaning.
Mercury Retrograde also teaches us the value in being present and mindful, as it's easy to get into misunderstandings with people at this time, take special care when communicating with others - speak clearly, truthfully and from the heart, say what you mean. This is a great time to check-in with your throat chakra, if you find it hard to say what you mean, it's likely to create confusion and havoc during this time so ask yourself why you find it hard to be clear and honest with your speech? Being honest, direct and clear is a great habit to get into whether Mercury is retrograde or not.
Take a break from technology
If technology is likely to be slow or simply not work over the next few weeks then why not embrace this and choose to spend time on other things. Get out in nature, read books or simply just sit and be. Living without technology can help us see how much we rely on it and are attached to it's presence and how when it's taken away, we have all this space and time that we didn't realise was there. So many people these days complain that they don't have time for reading, for meditating or doing things like yoga, yet we can easily be scrolling on our phone for 10-20 minutes, that's enough time to read a chapter or two, or do some yogic breathing and a couple of down dogs or sit and meditate. Try it out, everytime you turn to your phone out of habit, choose something else to do, keep a journal of your experiences.
The Art of Slow Living
One thing you often find during Mercury Retrogrades is that travel plans can be scuppered or delayed and that everything just takes that little bit longer. Again, this can be a wonderful prompt to fall in love with the art of slow living. In a world of internet streaming, amazon prime next day delivery and the instant gratification of social media, we have forgotten what it means to live slowly and patiently. These days people get irate if you don't reply to them straight away or if they have to wait more than 24 hours for something to arrive! The world is getting less and less tolerant and more and more anxious. So, again, we can embrace this energy and slow down. Ask yourself about the demands that others place upon you and your time and how you can create new boundaries moving forward. If you run your own business and have fallen into habits of responding to people's messages past 6pm at night can you create some new habits whereby you turn your phone off when you're home from work. Or better yet get a work phone if you don't have one already. Unless your job involves other people's lives being in danger then it's likely that things can wait till the morning, or the next day...the world will continue to turn. Your phone is meant to work for you, not the other way round.
If you are delayed during travels, how could you utilise that time? Take a book with you when travelling so if you are delayed you can make the most of your time by reading, or if you love to draw, carry a small sketch book with you. Or strike up a conversation with someone you're travelling with, some of the most magical moments in life are the unplanned ones, the times when things didn't go according to plan, tap into your sense of adventure. Remember, Mercury is the trickster, left to our own devices sometimes we can become serious and bogged down in the day-to- day-grind, we need a little bit of mischief and mishap to help us remember not to takes things too seriously and to remind us that we're not in control and to surrender to the flow of life.
In conclusion, instead of surviving Mercury Retrograde you can thrive by:
- Slowing down
- Be mindful - check everything 3 or 4 times - especially important emails, documents and contracts etc (if possible avoid signing contracts until Mercury goes direct)
- Avoid starting anything new (again if possible)
- Speak clearly and say what you mean
- Don't rely on technology and enjoy taking a break from your phone and from social media
- Expect delays, give yourself plenty of time for traveling places.
- Get your affairs in order
- Let go of the need/pressure to be constantly productive
Honouring Mercury Retrograde as a time to recalibrate, slow down and be mindful can mean that you even end up looking forward to it. We mark it in our diary and are careful of what we plan during this time and schedule in plenty of down time and time at home to potter and get organised. It's a wonderful time to catch up on your journaling, or adding to your moodboards for the year. Dedicate this time for yourself, these last few weeks of winter before the busyness of Spring sets in.
Travel well dear ones, see you soon xx
We are welcoming in our next full moon tomorrow and it's in the fiery and joyful sign of Leo. February's full moon is also referred to as the Snow Moon, the Hunger Moon or the Storm moon. With Imbolc last weekend we may be getting excited about Spring, but these moon names serve as another reminder that February can be a cold and harsh month and to make sure that we're still taking good care of ourselves and making lots of time for rest and nourishment.
Having said that, full moon in Leo is all about letting your hair down and shaking off the heaviness of the last few months. Leo is a playful and joyful sign and when you mix this with the sun being in the expansive, curious and creative sign of Aquarius you can open yourself up to a feeling of lightness and new possibilities. If you've been adulting hard of late and feel like it's all work and no play then now is the time to inject some fun into your life. Can you down tools for a bit this weekend and let yourself enjoy the fruits of your labour? This full moon is a great opportunity to ask yourself if you're taking yourself too seriously? Have you been letting yourself get bogged down in the daily grind? And have you let winter get a hold of you? When was the last time you belly laughed? How could you bring elements of fun and play into your life as we begin our approach into Spring? Spring is associated with the archetype of the maiden and Leo is often associated with our inner child, spend some time connecting to your inner child and inner maiden. What does she want to do? create? experience? What would you do if no one was looking?
Leo is a fire sign, ruled by the Sun and epitomises self confidence, self belief and joy. Aquarius season is all about taking the visions and goals we had during Capricorn season and manifesting them out into the world. It's about sharing our gifts with the people around us, being the light that we wish to see. When we start to think about birthing our ideas out into the world we can often be met with fears, limiting self beliefs and a million reasons why we shouldn't follow our dreams. The inner critic takes over and our beautiful ideas, dreams and wishes go into storage for another year. Sound familiar?
Use this powerful Leo energy to give you the confidence to shine your beautiful light out into the world. Focus on Solar Plexus work during this full moon, it's in this chakra that we store our creative fire, our confidence and our self worth - it's often referred to as the seat of self. In Capricorn season, we asked you what your soul calling was, what you felt your soul purpose was. Aquarius seeks to achieve that soul purpose with the intention of benefiting the greater good. In your journal, ask yourself what is holding you back from setting things in motion? Is it fear? Is it a lack of confidence? Is it a worry about what other people think? Do you think you don't deserve it? Use the playful and childlike energy of Leo to ask yourself - "come on, what's the worse that can happen? - maybe you try and it doesn't work out...is that the end of the world?" Again, we can reflect on whether we're getting heavy minded and taking everything too seriously. Remember what it felt like in your maiden years (maybe you're still in them) there's a lightness towards everything, a playful curiosity to try things and go with the flow of life. What happened to that girl? Is she in there still?
“There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” - Erin Hanson
Full Moon Gratitude Practice
Full moons are often referred to as a time to practice gratitude. In your journal dedicate a page to gratitude. Focus in particular on the people, places and experiences that are playful and fun. Who in your life makes you laugh? Encourages you to be silly and is like a breath of fresh air? What places bring out the inner child in you? What experiences connect you to your maiden? Thinking about the coming weeks, how could you make more time for these people and places?
Look back at your moon journal and read over your intentions from the Aquarius New Moon, what are you grateful for from this moon cycle? Has anything shifted for you? What have you gained from the Aquarius influence?
Divination on a full moon is always extra powerful and it provides another opportunity to check in with yourself and where you're at. Lay out your favourite oracle/tarot deck, light some candles, prepare a yummy drink (we recommend Magic Tarot Tea by Tarn and Moon) and give yourself a reading. Note down your reading in your journal and any feelings this may have triggered.
Working with the shadows
Shadow work at full moon time is really important. As well as focusing on the positive traits and inspirations of the signs we can also use the light and power of the full moon to shine awareness on the shadow traits of the signs and therefore our own shadows. The shadow side of Leo can be an imbalance of the ego, it can dominate and lead to an overinflated sense of self and can leave little room for thinking about others. On the flip side, we can have an ego imbalance the other way and always view ourselves as beneath everyone else, putting our own wishes and needs at the bottom of the list. This is interesting to look at in the context of Aquarius season as Aquarians are the humanitarian of the Zodiac and can often burn out from giving too much of themselves to large and vast projects and also become emotionally detached to the people closest to them as they focus on the big picture. Balance, as always, is key here and in particular looking at a balanced Solar Plexus Chakra. A key word for the Solar Plexus is HARMONY. A healthy Solar Plexus Chakra means we are in harmony with our self, others, and the world around us. We are not disempowered, we are not overpowering, we are EMPOWERED. In your journal, write down those two words, HARMONY & EMPOWERED. How do those words feel to you? Do you feel in harmony? If not, where is there disharmony? Do you feel empowered? If not, why? What do you need to feel empowered? Being empowered doesn't mean we hold power over others or external situations but that we have the power within us to stay true to our self, our values and our peace of mind regardless of what's going on around us. Ego tricks us into thinking that we need to dominate in order to be powerful, this is a patriarchal structure and one that the divine feminine seeks to destroy. Aquarius season is also about breaking down the structures that no longer serve the collective, reflect on these societal pressures to the feed the ego, to dominate, to seek out power, fame and glory and see if you can notice this at play in your own life. Do you often compare yourself to others? Are you competitive? Do you feel like the only way to feel good about yourself is to diminish others? This is all the shadow side of the ego. The best way to override this is to come back to LOVE. Leo rules the heart and is an incredibly loving and generous sign. Check in with your heart and notice if it feels closed or open? Be a cheerleader of others, be happy for their success and delight in their happiness.
"I cheer for people. I was raised to believe there's enough sun for everyone." - Tory L Eletto
Working with the Goddess Brigid to stoke your inner fire and feel empowered is wonderful at this time of year as she is associated with Imbolc and the approach of Spring. Sophie Bashford offered a beautiful free meditation on the Goddess Brigid over on her facebook page, click here to view it.
Permission to create
Aquarius and Leo are both incredibly creative signs. Leo helps infuse Aquarius with a more playful approach to creativity, as left to their own devices Aquarius won't be satisfied with just creating for fun but will need to turn it into a project of some kind. Why not give yourself permission at the weekend to play, create, sing, dance? Use that heightened energy of the full moon and channel it into some fun! Get your paints our, collage, draw, write poetry. Don't overthink it. Connect to the experience of joy and freedom that being creative evokes.
“You're not required to save the world with your creativity. Your art not only doesn't have to be original, in other words, it also doesn't have to be important. For example, whenever anyone tells me that they want to write a book in order to help other people I always think 'Oh, please don't. Please don't try to help me.' I mean it's very kind of you to help people, but please don't make it your sole creative motive because we will feel the weight of your heavy intention, and it will put a strain upon our souls.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Leo's are the queens of self care! They delight in taking care of themselves and also love spoiling others. If January has left you feeling like you've been run over then it might be time to take a step back from everything and give back to yourself. Here are a few Leo inspired recipes and rituals to get you back on track.
DIY CHAMOMILE FACIAL
Winter can wreak havoc with our skin and as we struggle with energy levels and busy schedules our skincare routine can often become non existant. Post Christmas and new year can also leave us a bit broke so we are big fans of DIY facials when you can't book in for one.
CHAMOMILE FACIAL STEAM
Facial steaming is a wonderful treat for the skin and it's so simple to do. Add a handful of dried Chamomile flowers to a bowl and pour in some boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl, being careful not to go too close to the steam. Take long, deep breaths with your eyes closed allowing the steam and the herbs to work their magic for about 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, whilst your skin is still damp, apply a creamy cleanser and massage in to your skin for a few minutes. Soak a bamboo facecloth (if you don't have one, we can't recommend them enough) in hot water (as hot as you can stand) place the cloth over your face and leave on for a moment before using the cloth to take off the cleanser. Spritz your face with Chamomile floral water and leave damp.
DIY FACIAL OIL
If you don't already have a facial oil, you can make your own. Facial oils are a wonderful way to hydrate your skin at a deeper level than a moisturiser can. Massaging your face with oil can also aid with circulation and lymphatic drainage. In an aromatherapy bottle with dropper (you can buy these from Neal's Yard Remedies) mix together equal parts Argan Oil and Rosehip Oil and add a sprinkling of your dried Chamomile flowers - these will continue to infuse in the oil over time. Mix well and then apply to your face massaging from the centre of the face outwards to work with lymphatic drainage points.
Facial massage can be incredibly detoxing so be sure to drink lots of water afterwards.
Dry Body Brushing
Leo rules the heart and circulation so it's important on Moon in Leo days to take care of this area of the body. Dry body brushing is fantastic for lymphatic drainage and for helping with circulation. Start from the feet and work upwards towards the heart using upward brush strokes. Do the entire body and then afterwards apply this dreamy Leo inspired body oil:
SELF LOVE BODY OIL
Choose a base oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil and add the following essential oils. This recipe is for 25ml of base oil and is not suitable in pregnancy or if you're heading out into the sun (not likely but we have to say this as Bergamot is phototoxic and can stain skin in the sun).
4 drops Mandarin
2 drops Lemon
2 drops Ylang Ylang
3 drops Bergamot
We really hope you've enjoyed our blog and we wish you a blessed full moon in Leo dear ones. See you next time xx
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