Monday, September 17th, at 3:27 am (PDT), the Sun and Moon conjoin at
24 degrees Virgo. This New Moon happens just 5 days before the fall
equinox and signals the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Also
known as Mabon, this holy day celebrates the balance of light and dark
in the world with the days getting shorter and darker in the northern
hemisphere and the days growing longer and lighter in the southern hemisphere.
European traditions, this is a time when the solar God leaves his consort,
the Goddess, and descends into the underworld to be reborn again at winter
solstice. Mabon is also known as a time of harvest, when the crops from
the fields are reaped and feasts are prepared to honor the abundance.
This is a time to give thanks for the bounty in our lives, and to share
our riches with our community so that all may be full and without hunger.
This is a time to balance the scales, to make sure that everyone partakes
of the abundance and none are left behind. This is also a time to work
on developing balance in all our relationships, with our family, our community
and with the Earth.
Moon: Nourishing Ourselves Spiritually
of Virgo is associated with the image of a virgin, pure and unadulterated.
In our pursuit of health and happiness, we can sometimes confuse purity
with being healed and holy. To heal ourselves, some health practitioners
advise long fasts, strong colon and intestinal cleanses and eating very
simple vegan food. In this methodology, negative thoughts should be banished
and only optimistic or happy thoughts should be encouraged. Though this
approach can sometimes be helpful, it certainly is not the only path to
health. Health implies a balance of mind, body and soul. Strict rules
and demanding discipline can make us more neurotic and cause us to blame
ourselves excessively for our shortcomings. When we see life as black
and white, good and bad, holy or impure, we can get caught in a cycle
of judging ourselves and others for our "good" or "bad"
ways of living.
looking at life and health in a singular and narrow mind frame, we can
expand on this belief system during the Virgo Moon. The wisdom of this
sign teaches us to nourish ourselves optimally, to give ourselves a place
for pleasure and pain, love and joy as well as the darker emotions. Nothing
is cut out. Nothing is wrong. In this mind frame, even illness is not
seen as bad. Illness can become a powerful ally in helping ourselves to
grow and develop. A headache may be seen as a symbol to slow down and
rest. Chest pains may be a way of the body asking us to look at old grief
and deeply held feelings.
In this way
of looking at life, which the herbalist SuSun Weed calls the "Wise
Woman Tradition," as opposed to the "Heroic Tradition,"
each moment is a chance for exploration, for play, for curiosity and possibility.
Rules that applied to our health a year ago or even a few days ago, may
not apply now. We need to have a direct experience of what is true for
ourselves, instead of trusting books, doctors or holy men. Of course,
certain people and writings can be very helpful in giving us advice, or
ideas about how to live in balance and strengthen ourselves. But only
we as individuals know what our bodies, minds and spirits need to be healthy.
of this comes to mind. When I was younger I was more dogmatic in my approach
to health and lifestyle. I had rigid rules about what I needed to do to
stay healthy. When I went to my grandmom's house, I was inevitably fed
food that did not adhere to my guidelines. At first I resisted, but then
I realized the amount of love and compassion my grandmom poured into the
food she served me. From then on I ate what she had to offer. It was from
that experience that I realized that food could be healing simply from
the intent involved in making it.
of the Soul
Moon in Virgo is a perfect time to examine how we live, eat and exercise.
In our desire to be healthy, we may choose to punish ourselves through
intense exercise regimes, demanding dietary plans and harsh schedules.
Though discipline can be very helpful, it's important to notice how we
feel through this process. Are we trying to mold ourselves into the perfect
man or woman who everybody, including ourselves, will love and admire?
Or can we take a more moderate and loving approach? Is there a way to
seek health through caring and nourishing ourselves optimally? The difference
may be subtle, but it is truly important.
In the "heroic"
tradition, we are busily trying to conquer darkness, rid ourselves of
negativity and illness and purify ourselves until we are perfect. In the
"wise woman" tradition, we can choose to embrace both light and dark,
the rich complexity of our lives, the difficult and transcendent experiences
as equally meaningful. We can choose to honor ourselves and strengthen
our hearts. We can be as gardeners, gently pulling the weeds while nourishing
our roots with good soil and fresh water. This
New Moon in Virgo is a perfect time to turn into caretakers of the heart,
gardeners of the soul. Good health to you!