lessons from a lunar eclipse

(i am a cheap expert on the stars – at some point i stopped buying gossip magazines and put my attention on stars that felt more authentic and reliable, more capable of holding the weight of my projections. i now say things about the stars and other celestial bodies with gravitas, but i am often corrected by my smarter friends. this caveat is to say that what follows is all feeling more than knowing.)

last night was a lunar eclipse and a super wolf blood full moon, aka a bloody howling supreme lunar happening. i learned (at the intersection of multiple websites and listening to what others learned on the internet) that it’s about truly letting go of patterns that don’t serve, about release at the level of system, about making room for something that cannot coexist with that shriveled up rotten moldy crusty whatever that i am dragging along behind me. time to kondo my soul.

so i looked up and i listened for what it is time to release. i learned some things in the watching that feel like clues, if not answers.

(howling bloody lunar wow, rural mn, 1/20/19 11:16pm)

– the moon eclipsed in shadow is gray, quiet, murky, briefly reddish. it looks like it is resting. i am reminded of its passive, orbital nature.

– the moon is not doing anything. not covering up, not unveiling, not demanding. unlike me, the moon’s life isn’t much changed by brief and total shadow.

– to us humans, the moon eclipsed in shadow is dramatic headline material with awesome names…even though it was more dazzling an hour before in super bright fullness. why are we so drawn to the drama of reduced light?

– the body that casts the shadow is not made of shadow. it’s just earth. i often think this is the case between humans…one complex system casts shadows or shines light on another, while being neither darkness nor light.

– but when you’re looking up at something that hurts, it can look like a shadow monster. back lit, broken, the illusion can be confusing. this makes me think that i don’t believe in monsters amongst humans. i believe in shattered spirits, and in souls that get stuck/lost in shadow, and then want to shadow everything.

– this is why, as a mediator, i choose space over punishment every time. space to stop harm, space to look at, release and claim our own shadows.

– and i choose love over pain when i can. pain doesn’t stop or resolve pain. love is what heals – love of self, love from others who see the shadows, love of how we survive. love invites us to occupy the universe, not just some cage of our worst moments.

– i can’t ignore that i am in the martin luther king jr holiday season, reflecting on love, at the edge of saying only light can drive out the darkness you can’t carry. but of course. he was a moon, he held brightness.

– i have been thinking a lot about how to make distinctions between beings and our behavior. in real time, how can i not get confused between the who and the how?

– and, if a being is committed to a certain behavior, and that behavior casts shadows, what are the options? we are not in orbit, we do not have to continue the dance. sometimes we must ask each other to move in massive ways, sometimes we must go around the sun to get to the light, sometimes we are unable.

– you may have noticed i identify with the moon, even though i’m part of the shadow on her face tonight. my work as a facilitator/mediator is often that deep reflection. what beauty is in this darkness? how much light can you handle being? look how bright you are. but always half dark, or more.

– i am generally comfortable holding the dark. i believe it is the balance of light and dark that makes our world miraculous and dynamic. and since light is the anomaly of this universe, perhaps we all need to be comfortable with/in the dark.

– i hold brightness, too. but i think it’s a reflective work, catching and sharing the light of sun creatures like octavia butler, grace lee boggs, audre lorde, ursula le guin, mlk, toni cade bambara and other bright beaming beings. as i write that, i can also see how they caught and shared the light of their teachers. some light is as old as the tao, some as old as a humanish god. and some light is much older than that.

– this moon is telling me to notice every shadow on my face, accept my own darkness, emerge from any shadow that isn’t mine, surrender to the cycle of light and dark, and, when my time comes, be unapologetically bright.

(superfull af moon through branches, 1/21/19, 6:48am)

Author: Adrienne

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your uprising against the forces of darkness has got to do more than say "no." A fierce, primal yes should be at the heart of your crusade. (rob brezny, long ago)

2 thoughts on “lessons from a lunar eclipse”

  1. Dear adrienne,

    I really appreciated reading this moon reflection. And how you connected it with your work as mediator/facilitator. It was helpful read your multiple reflections on the various aspects of moon energy, not resolving to decide on any one as the reflection that was somehow most important.

    I personally have been grappling as well with understanding dynamics of others, and how to be part of a process of owning the shadow and also experiencing brightness. In fact this will help carry me in a conversation I need to have this coming Tuesday with a group at work.

    I am close to finishing your book, Emergent Strategies, and it has really been a gamechanger for me in my work. I work for a nonprofit, National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), that had its start in the South Bronx in the mid 1980s, using ear acupuncture to help people recover from addiction. The movement went national and then global, and the NADA protocol is now practiced widely for not just addiction, but trauma, mental health, stress relief, etc.

    But there is so much need in this organization for having transformational conversations. We are having our national conference coming up in March in Austin, and are holding a panel I’m calling Emergent Strategies in NADA (part 1 on Friday and part 2 on Saturday). I’d like to buy a bunch of copies of your book to sell there because I know people will be moved by this concept, and understand how relevant it is to the work we do.

    I also personally felt so many connections, because of the people that you quoted in your book. Tanuja Jagernauth was a trainer of NADA’s in Chicago for a time. Unfortunately the law in Illinois doesn’t allow non-acupuncturists as providers and I think she got frustrated after a while because she could only trainer doctors and full-body acupuncturists, and they are typically not the ones working in the highest-need communities where NADA is best put to use (there are always exceptions, her being one of them, but I’m just speaking about the mainstream providers).

    Kat Aaron was in my high school class in Boston, and thanks to several of her quotes in your book, I reached out to her, to say hi. I was grateful to learn of the work she is doing.

    And maybe the most poignant connection for me was Malkia Cyril Devich. Mak’s wife, Alana, and I worked together in Cambridge, MA for a time at a holistic health center – she was the office manager there and I had her job a year or two later. We didn’t stay much in touch, but I got more connected once she began to publicly share about her cancer experience. I have not met Mak, but I closely followed the events surrounding Alana’s memorial service, and I loved the song you sang for her in your car that was posted on the FB page.

    So, reading Emergent Strategies has been about learning how to be a more courageous leader within my work, to help me find ways to guide the organization to open up to growth, and also to feel connected with my friends in a totally different way, through a book.

    In regards to ordering a chunk of copies of your book to sell at our conference, is Amazon the best way to do that? I’m thinking of getting 20 (I am hoping we’ll have about 200 attend the meeting).

    much gratitude to your honest and bold work and writing,

  2. Sara
    thank you for weaving together our stories, our loved ones and our work. order bulk from akpress.org, best prices and least obstruction and corruption!
    big hugs to you in love and grief

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