State of the Moon: New Moon April 7

State of the moon

This new moon is apparently a super moon. I’m not sure what that means – usually, a super moon appears to be 15-30% larger in the sky, but if it’s a new moon we won’t see that effect.

Suffice to say, the energy of the moon will be amplified.

This is a very fiery week for the stars – planets are moving into Aries, Taurus, AND Sagittarius. This fire is tempered by the energy of the upcoming new moon, a very introspective, dark, and possibly secretive energy. Now is the perfect time to do some serious thinking and planning.

This has been a powerful year. You might be feeling especially drained from the recent eclipses (I know I’m feeling the aftershocks). A new moon is a great time for introspection, for working out the lessons in the drama. This new moon continues to build on the theme of transformation, though this moon is all about taking the things you have learned and putting them in order.

Looking forward to later in the month, Mars will be going retrograde. This means that some of the things related to your career, to the public sphere in your life, to your fight will be less clear. Muddled. Mars will be retrograde from April 17 – June 29, which means that it will be very difficult to get things started in this time. Now is the time for initiative. We need to use this new moon energy to take stock of the situation, to understand these beginnings and what will nourish them moving forward.

Let’s dig deeper into the planetary alignments.

Tuesday had both the moon and Venus enter Aries. The presence of Venus suggests that love and relationships are entering the forefront. That we need to infuse what we’re doing, what we’re creating, with love. Don’t push forward with all of that impatient Aries energy unless it’s something you’re ready and willing to commit to. I think this also adds a bit of follow-through to the energy floating around now – make sure that whatever it is you’re falling in love with now, it’s something you want to continue to engage with in your life. You’re making a commitment. Make sure it’s a good one.

This new moon also features a trine with Saggittarius, perfect for setting long-term habits for success. And you want to be really deliberate about how you use this energy; again, we want to set up long term habits that nourish us, not deplete us.

One of the things I love about the new moons in particular is the sense of a pause. A pause from the cycle. A pause from the light. A time to explore the complexities and the hidden meanings beneath your journey. It’s a time of cleansing, of resting.

And this time around, resting feels just as powerful as movement. Resting is what we need. There is energy in this pause.

Do you feel it? What’s got you thinking, plotting, planning?

Get out that journal. Hash it out on paper. Get the details straight now, because it’s only going to get a hell of a lot more muddied once Mars hits retrograde. And that’s ok – retrograde isn’t all bad. It just means that it might be difficult to get things going and initiate for a period. But don’t get discouraged: there has been a whole lot of inventive and beginning energy floating around the eclipses. Chances are, you are moving past the beginning stages of your projects and into the time of development and action.

Ultimately: You have self-determination. Astrology only shows you a basic outline, some things to be aware of as you move forward. Mars in retrograde is telling you to be wary of sluggishness, of failure to commit.

So this new moon – it’s powerful.

What will I be doing on Thursday? I’ll be cleansing my tarot decks. I’ve been using them a lot, which is fantastic, but it also means that they could use some tlc.

I will also be doing a lot of journaling. So many things have come up in my life, and my career is really lighting on fire right now. I have lots of deep thinking.

State of the Moon is a semi-regular, bi-monthly check in with the universe.



State of the Moon: Equinox Season

eclipse season image

This is a post of reaction. This is a post of looking at the energies that have been floating around, and sorting through the feelings of the last several weeks. There’s been a lot of energy floating around, and I can feel the transition happening within me – winter to spring, last eclipse season to this eclipse season, lots of things moving and shaking.

I’ve been feeling a lot of big emotions. Emotions about things I left behind last season. Emotions about what’s coming next. Feeling both gratitude for what I’ve been offered, and worry for what hasn’t been settled yet. I’ve got lots of work to do, and I’ve come a long way.

This eclipse season has almost felt like a sort of limbo – between the old and the new, taking time to recuperate before the next leg of the journey begins.

This is one of the first Big Deal things in the stars this year. But what does it really mean? And what does it mean to you?

There will be four eclipses in 2016. The first one happened on March 9 – a solar eclipse that was visible in the Southern Hemisphere up through the Pacific. The solar eclipse also happened to fall on a new moon. The next one will be on March 23, a full moon.

The influence of this eclipse season extends out for another 6 months. Basically, the idea behind this is that as the astronomical bodies move through the sky, it takes time for some of these influences to be felt fully, and once they are that energy reverberates until it is outshone by another energy. This season is also influenced by the Vernal Equinox – depending on where you are, it was either yesterday (3/19) or today (3/20). Coincidentally, this is also the weekend that Pisces changed to Aries, sparking a new astrological cycle (Pisces is at the end of the Zodiac, Aries at the beginning).

So – what does that mean?

LOTS of new things! A fresh start!  Spring equinox + new astrological year + eclipses? There’s a lot of energy floating around, and it looks like energies at the beginning.

Because the first eclipse was in Pisces, it was all about water – all about washing away the pain of something, all about letting go and moving on. I know that I’ve been feeling some intense emotions, feeling a lot around the losses of the last six months, feeling a lot of energy but grief, and needing even more time to myself to process than usual. Be gentle to yourselves.

This second eclipse happens right after the sun has entered Aries – an extremely driven fire sign and the first sign in the next phase of the zodiac. This already speaks to a powerful beginning to the next phase, given the close proximity to the equinox and the changing seasons, you’re probably already feeling this energy.

If you want to harness the power of this eclipse season, think about things to let go and what kind of creative energy you want to bring into your life. Personally, this feels very career-oriented: my studies and career are on fire, and I need to preserve my inner energy to make sure I can make it through and harness the power of this season.

Some ways to honor the season:

  • Plant something! This is a season of growth – find some soil and an herb or flower you love and plant it.
  • Make some healing tea. Tea can be lovely for both healing and meditation, so grab those herbs and make yourself a brew. There are a ton of great ideas out there, but check out this post from Autostraddle for simple teas, the Kitchen Wiccan for a huge directory of teas for every ailment, or grab some inspiration from Paige Z Tarot and Tea.
  • Take a walk in the woods. Look for buds. Look for flowers. Listen for the birds singing. Connect with the earth.
  • Light a bonfire. Dance. Ignite your passions.
  • Do a tarot reading, throw down some runes, read your tea leaves – now is a powerful time for divination for the next six months. Use these tools to help plan for the season.
  • Relax. Repeat to yourself: it will all be fine.
  • Rejoice! Celebrate all you’ve done to get where you are now, and all you plan to do in the near future!


Good luck with your own goals, star-friends! Keep your inner fire alive!

State of the Moon: February New Moon

State of the Moon is a semi-regular, bimonthly check in with the universe.

I have always been much more likely to follow the New Moon cycle than the Full Moon Cycle. My Wiccan training has taught me that the New Moon is all about intention setting and intuitive work, whereas the Full Moon is about manifestation and action.

I am an incredibly driven person, and can get so caught up in the doing I forget to pause. I personally find intention-setting to be the critical balance to all that doing. If I don’t take time and figure out myself, my intentions, I can get lost. I can get so enthusiastic about the doing that I forget the big picture. Small failures become huge, I beat myself up, and it’s overall No Good.

If the new moon is a time to meditate on our intentions and our goals, then the full moon is a time to send the energy behind those goals out into the universe to manifest. And friends: This one’s a doozy.

Art: Mari Jackson 1979

So what does this new moon in Aquarius bring us?

Aquarius is the sign of innovation, of breaking down destructive systems and building them up in a new way. Aquarius is the sign of the visionary, of the future.

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, which is the planet of change. On this new moon, there is a moon sextile Uranus – a powerful movement, made extra powerful because we are in Aquarius season and Uranus is tied to Aquarius. This means that the two influences of intuition and ambition are strong. There is a lot of energy in the air – this new moon is particularly innovative. The moon also squares Mars – bringing up volatile emotions and impulses, though this tension is balanced out by the moon conjunct sun, which brings more harmony to the situation. There is a push and a pull and a tug at the heartstrings.

This moon feels very external to me. It feels innovative, but in a public way. There’s a revolution stirring, friends. What does your revolution look like? What big changes do you want to manifest? How do the changes you seek benefit society as a whole?

This is a good time to evaluate the systems you are a part of, and how those systems impact society. This is a huge moment – there is so much at stake in the world, so many injustices to work against. This revolution of Aquarius is needed, and it’s needed now. We need to remember, on this new moon, that revolution is an emotional state. It’s ok to strive for something greater, but mourn the life you are upending, and take time to refocus.

I feel this with environmental justice issues. Outside of my witchcraft, I work on climate change and environmental policy. My work outside of this spirit life is so critical, and I feel an immense amount of pressure as the time to cut our carbon and greenhouse gas emissions comes to a close. My heart breaks for what’s happening in Flint, for nations who will soon be under water, for Syrian refugees displaced because of conflict over water and resources. These issues were created by a hegemony that wanted to increase their bottom line while making their system the most convenient.

As a white woman, I have benefited from this system. This is a system I am working to overthrow. And sometimes, I get tired. It would be easier for me not to fight, to ignore the injustices and live in my privileged bubble. I constantly need to check in with my intentions, and to be gentle with myself when I need to turn off my brain and watch junk tv. There’s a push and a pull and a tension. Revolution isn’t easy, revolution isn’t convenient. Recognize where you’re at emotionally, pause, and keep moving.

Take time to care for yourself. The new moon is a time to look into your shadow, to see the wounds you bear and take a night to heal.

Find power in this moon. Find focus in this moon. Let yourself feel your feelings, let yourself mourn your losses. But fight. Set your intention. Know that you can’t divorce the fight from your emotions. But guess what? They make you stronger. So feel them.

What draws your focus? What revolution are you fighting?  What futures do you dream? 

State of the Moon: Full Moon in Aquarius

State of the Moon is a semi-regular, bimonthly check in with the universe. 

This is my first post that focuses on the moon, on astrology, on how what’s happening in the heavens impacts us on earth. I am still learning about astrology, but I process information through writing. I will also include links to blog posts by other people studying astrology, because this place isn’t a vacuum and I want to be very much in conversation with others.

It’s taken me a while to learn about astrology. In fact, as someone who believes in and is fascinated by science, it took me a long time to show interest in this area of pagan spirituality. Over the last several years some very intense stuff has been going on with the moon. There was a blood moon tetrad, and a complete eclipse, and a whole lot of super moons. Things seemed to come in cycles. My interest was piqued.

(c) Fred Espenak of NASA
And then, the more I delved into astrology the more it seemed to fit with what I know of myself. I felt the tug, the pull of the moon and the heavens, and I wanted to learn more.

But more on that in a different post.

What does this Leo full moon in Aquarius bring us?

This week we move from sturdy, practical Capricorn into the inventive sign of Aquarius. Perhaps you, like me, live in a colder climate and your imagination is starting to run wild from being cooped up. Or perhaps you don’t, and you’re just tapping in to that creative Aquarius energy.

Aquarius is all about the greater good, finding what is right and just in the external world. It’s about finding creative solutions to your problems. The moon itself will be in the position of Leo, which highlights confidence. This moon should be self-assured and confident that your inner fire is lit and ready to take your projects into a more public sphere – that you are ready to enter the interchange of ideas. But there are some other aspects interfering with this energy: Mercury Retrograde and Mars in Scorpio.

This full moon is occurring under the direct influence of Leo, which means things could get … dramatic. Leo is best known for inspiring confidence, performance, art, and direct action. You may feel compelled to step out and get something done. But because there are other things going on in the skies, you may also find that there is a dark side to this flair. It’s possible some things may manifest that you’re not ready to manifest. The impact of Mars in Scorpio is to bring some intense, tense energy. There are some manifestations of the shadow world present here.

There’s usually a period leading up to and coming down from the full moon where the energies are still in the air. Mercury goes direct two days after the Full Moon, which means it is still somewhat influenced by the full moon’s energy. For those of you that don’t know about Mercury Retrograde, it’s a phenomenon when the planet Mercury, ruler of communication and travel, appears to be moving backward in the sky. When Mercury is in retrograde, things get weird. Communication gets harder. Technology backfires. Travel plans get complicated. But as Mercury goes direct again under the (waning) influence of the Full Moon in Aquarius, I think we’ll breathe in some fresh air and find creative ways to cut through the murk of the retrograde.

These influences on the moon suggest to me that we are entering a period of less reflection, less careful planning, and more “getting out there and doing it.” We may stumble, the energy may feel powerful and tense, but this is ok. We will all be ok.

Because I’m no expert, I thought it would be best to point you toward some folks who know more about astrology than I do. I drew on the interpretations of others to create this post, because I am still learning and this is a journey. Also because, you know, I’m an academic and we are always out there seeking information from others and citing our sources.

For your moon reading:

Chani Nicholas’ horoscopes for this week – she’s one of my favorites! She brings a deep sense of justice to her magic.

AEternalight Astrology

Wings Wide Open from Starcana

Do you study astrology? Does this make sense to you? Let’s talk moon-magic in the comments!