Anisa Sharif – Mosaic Artist
Full Moon at 3 Degrees of Cancer 20′ Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, at 3:12 AM PST & 6:12 AM EST
Two weeks ago, within the time frame of this full Cancer Moon’s influence, I began to focus on finding the one word that most needs my attention in 2016 – or letting it find me. The idea was presented to me by Christine Valters Paintner, the creator of a Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery based in Galway Ireland. Over a period of 12 days she sent me a series of 12 steps that would guide my word to me.
Early on, early in the morning, while alternating between sleep and wakefulness, for me the word “muse” came to mind. But I wasn’t sure that was it. I loved it and hoped it was. I thought about all the possible meanings and messages that might apply. I took a contemplative walk and allowed the word to ripen as suggested. A series of synchronous events were triggered and eventually I became almost convinced, beyond any doubt, this was it. And today, as I receive the last of the steps, – to write a poem about my word – I’m certain.
A few days ago I constructed the Cancer full Moon chart. My new focus had me inputing the information needed to include asteroids named for the nine muses – not my usual method. And there it was. Euterpe – the Muse that inspires inspires lyrical poetry, songs, songwriters, and beautiful, heart-stirring writing of every kind – is placed within five minutes of an exact conjunction with this Cancer full Moon. In tandem, these two lights infuse the world with their imaginative essence.
Memories triggered by this full Moon brought me back to a time when my favorite Yoga teacher, after inviting me for an hour and a half to the extreme edges of my physical limits, would read poetry. She loved Mary Oliver. Hearing her works of art while in a condition of pleasant and complete physical exhaustion was an experience I can’t totally describe. It was like experiencing poetry for the first time and being profoundly healed by it. It was like every cell in my body was absorbing the beauty along with my mind. It felt similar to an experience I had while lying in a German sauna starring at the ancient mosaic art on the ceiling. It felt transcendent and grounding, sensual and sacred. .
This is my favorite Mary Oliver Poem:
Sleeping In The Forest
I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
Euterpe and this full Moon create an atmosphere of heart-stirring beauty and reconnection at a time when the trajectory of our life is changing. The Winter Solstice shifts our directional focus as we move from total darkness toward the light. On Christmas Day Uranus changes into direct motion after five months of retrogradation.
It seems recently that Capricorn has been able to work tirelessly to achieve something he never intended – in this case fortifying limits and boundaries that prevent connection and progress. Pluto, Mercury, and now the Sun, continue to empower what has become overblown, over-built, and more deeply ingrained. Capricorn’s ruler Saturn, now placed in the sign of Sagittarius, is a master at over-doing-it. Balance needs to be brought back into the equation. Astrologically balance between the energies and expressions of the Sun and the heart-felt emotions of the Moon need to be restored.
Globally it feels as though we are trying to defeat an enemy who is resistant to conventional means with conventional means. Unintended consequences appear to be more prevalent than intended consequences. The results are life threatening on many levels.
For you it may feel that personal circumstances are changing, or have changed, especially within the realm of relationships. Yet there may be the tendency to continue to apply outdated strategies and old, deeply ingrained patterns to keep ourselves safe and intact. Or we may be witnessing another’s futile attempts to create break throughs while embracing an inflexibility that ensures failure. The Sun is frustrated while the Moon suffocates. It’s time for a critical examination of the automatic responses we continue to embrace long after those have become destructive and distancing.
Which bring me back to my word for the year. What is a muse and what is her message for me?
A muse is the inspirational source from which all heart-stirring works of art spring. Finding out who she is, what she loves, how she communicates with you, and how to step out of her way to become an unobstructed channel, is worth contemplating, no matter who you are or what you do. She fuels a passion for life and all things life-enhancing. She makes life beautiful and endlessly enjoyable. Unintentionally shutting her out has tragic consequences.
I am a writer but I sometimes insist on strategies that prevent the flow of inspiration from the sources I have. When I’m writing and begin to wonder what my readers want, if I actually have anything to say, if I’m saying it right, or simply wasting their time, I shut out my muse. It’s not hard to do. She’s is delicate and highly sensitive. A few bad habits and automatic responses can leave me anxious, uninspired, and flailing.
I read a quote that said “The only writers who think they’re good writers are the really bad ones.” I think it’s the act of evaluating your work during the process of creating it that’s so undermining.
Muriel Barbery wrote the “Elegance of the Hedgehog.” When interviewed she expresses her relationship with her muse. She says she’s sometimes annoyed at the thought that anyone would read the secret information that flows from her while immersed in the joy of writing. It feels too deeply personal for public consumption. She knows that her muse loves the music of “Dire Straits” so she listens to it while writing. It moves her into her inspirational groove.
During this full Moon I’m experimenting with the music of a Brazilian singer/songwriter named Euterpe. I like it but haven’t had time to determine if my muse agrees.
In an effort to improve the effectiveness of how I relate (to my Muse and to others) I know that I have to soften and change. I have to recognize thresholds and deliberately walk through those. Thresholds, beautifully explained by Christine at Abby of the Arts, are transitions between places that require different modes of operation and deliver different results. Choosing to put on my headphones and meditate requires something different than watching the news. It’s wise to consciously decide when it’s time, for the sake of growth and progress, to move through a threshold and into a different world.
I’m taking contemplative walks to notice what I notice. I’m thinking about last year and noticing what experiences and thoughts first come to mind. I plan to illustrate some of the characteristics of who I feel my muse to be. (I hope she appreciates that because drawing habitually makes me feel inadequate.) I’m writing her a poem from my heart and intend to continue to search for music she loves. I’m hoping to show her I’m open to changing my ways. I hope that translates into a more heart-felt approach to myself, to others, and to life itself. I hope it results in a return to balance.
To me that embodies the message of this full Moon.