Our Maiden, Our Mother, Our Mistress

Let me preface this with good news:
I was accepted into a Master’s in Social Work program in a great place. I’ve spent the last few months moving and getting into the swing of scholastics. I have just finished several presentations, and several papers (one a 25 pager). The semester’s winding down and I miss blogging!

I’ve been noticing alignment with the Moon and my life. The Moon is my ruling heavenly body. The full moon in Capricorn fell on my birthday, and Capricorn is the opposite sign of Luna. Then, on my first day of classes, there was a New Moon in Virgo, the sign of diligence and hard work in the Moon phase associated with beginnings. Finally, for one of my classes, I visited a Hindu Temple. The night I chose to visit just happened to be on the full moon in Taurus, a good time to mix intellectual duty, spiritual fulfillment, and fun. Therefore, I feel that it was time to talk about the Moon.

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The Moon, drawn by Mary Guinan for Julian DeBurgh’s Celtic Deck shows white stones surrounding a mysterious golden glow. A great pearl of a full moon gleams down on the scene. The Moon is a mystery. What are the secrets the questioner is in the process of uncovering? The Moon tells that there is more than meets the eye. The Moon casts her silver and pearl glow over rituals and meditation, protecting and illuminating.

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Here we have the Crab, naturally, and two wolves gracing Barbara G. Walker’s Moon card. The Crab is venturing into new territory from the mysterious, primordial pool, called by a full moon that’s pregnant with possibilities. The wolves sing to Luna as she rises above two pillars flanking a golden path that leads to darkness. It’s a little eerie. Where does that path lead? Is it safe? Is it safe to follow the moonlight? Will we find treasure, or…lunacy?
The Moon pulls our tides, and may also pull our blood, at least, I think so. Water is also full of treasures, but also threats, just like our subconscious.
By the way, the nine blood drops curving around the Moon there? They represent menstrual blood, and there’s nine of them to represent the nine months of pregnancy. Fun fact: the words moon, month, and menstrual all have the same root! The Moon is associated with the female, although in Japan, Tsukuyomi, is a Moon god, and the Germanic tribes had Mani, and the Mesopotamians had Sin.

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Kris Waldherr chose Diana/Artemis for her Moon card. Diana is the Huntress, and she is known for her harsh punishments (such as turning a guy into a stag and having his own dogs rip him apart, because he saw her bathing), and yet, she has a nurturing aspect to her as well. She helped her mother, Leto, deliver her twin brother, Apollo, right after she herself was born. She was also the protectoress of girls right until they were married. She healed Aeneus after his battle injury in the Trojan War. The Moon itself is associated with illusion and lunacy, but, it is also a source of healing and creativity.
Nature, and the Moon, are cyclical. Life is cyclical–waxing and waning with periods of activity and periods of rest. Diana, the Maiden, is the first aspect of the Goddess, followed by Selene, the Mother, and finally by Hecate, the Crone.

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In a more verdant landscape than Walker’s, Wood’s Moon features a little crustacean strolling out of a pond that is blue, not black, and the thin path winds between a small wolf and a very large beagle into a misty rolling field. The mystery we see in Walker’s card is still there, but it seems more nurturing somehow–perhaps because there’s some luminescence in the distant horizon, and there’s plant life. Instead of two pillars, there are two stone caves. The caves, as we’ve discussed before, symbolize the Earth Mother’s womb.
If you look at this card, it can be full or a crescent, waxing or waning. If you see the Moon as waxing, or growing bigger, it might be a fortuitous time for new beginnings. If it is waning, something may be coming to an end.
A wild wolf and a loyal dog have come together to serenade the Moon in a duet. The domesticated dog and the feral wolf unite their qualities in the Moon. The Moon is a loyal, loving mother, but may give you more than you bargained for. Case in point:

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Dorcha is Epona’s Wild Daughter. You can find her in The Faeries Oracle, by Brian Froud. She’s part of the group of Faery Challengers. She forces the reader to confront what Jung called the Shadow self, or the parts of the self we label bad. She accompanies us through depression, anxiety, and nightmares, like Hecate. Like Hecate, she may be misunderstood. Just because there is no light at night does not mean the Moon is not there, and just because somebody shows you frightening things doesn’t necessarily mean they are evil.

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Laiste is Dorcha’s sister. She believes in pulling pranks to wake people up, like when the Moon’s light makes things look like things they are not–turning water into solid ground, and trees into skeletons. She embodies the mystic Moon, and can be whimsical. However, just like Dorcha, she wants you to be open and go deep. She and Dorcha are adopted daughters of Hecate, the dark side of the Moon who can be fierce, but shows surprising flashes and glimpses of beauty. Hecate will then always become Artemis again, new and full of promise of new beginnings, and then become the gentle, loving Selene, and back to the Goddess of Magic.
I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so happy Luna is my ruling body. She’s everything–young, old, mother, maiden, wise woman, Queen of Witches. She guides and obscures. She’s also in a close, personal relationship with Water, element of dreams, love, and emotion. She is silver and pearl. She is Maiden, Mother, and Mistress.

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Sagittarius

(Originally published in December 2011 at turtlephoenix.blogspot.com)
Don’t get me wrong. I love Battlestar: Galactica. But they have Sagittarians all wrong. Both my fiance and my older brother are Sagittarians, and they would be the first to tell you that refusing perfectly good medicine when you need it is ill-advised. Actually, they wouldn’t say that. They would come right out and tell you to your face that you’re stupid.

Sagittarians are known for being brutally honest. If you want to hear a certain answer, don’t ask a Sagittarius the question. They find little white lies repugnant. That is the dark side of a Sagittarius, along with being ludicrously protective of their independence. My brother walked at ten months, which is pretty impressive, but my fiance crawled at four months and walked at nine months. I’m sure it’s because they felt being carried about cramped their style and limited their exploration.

What is so beautiful about Sagittarius is its vibrant intellect. Out of all the fire signs, Sagittarius is the most philosophical. While Aries and Leo are symbolized by the Ram and the Lion, respectively, Sagittarius is the Centaur, or the Archer. Their animal magnetism (at least my fiance’s, I’m not going to go there about my brother) and fiery physicality is balanced by an innate love of the abstract. They are curious and love adventure. Sagittarius, in this sense, is the bridge from the element of Fire to its natural companion,  intellectual Air. There’s a reason why Captain Planet put those two Planeteers together. It’s science. Air feeds Fire. In Sagittarius you get the best of both–elements, not Planeteers.

Sagittarius shows its fire in any competition. The Sagittarius wants to be the best, but while Leo tends to go for the gold in theatrics and socializing, and Aries in sports and physical bravado, the Sagittarius wants to be the top of the class–and this includes gym and theater. When a Sagittarius is motivated, it’s best to just step back and watch. You’ll thrill at how much they accomplish, and the diversity of their interests. One Sag I know changed has changed his majors several times. Sagittarius, in balance, can love learning for its own sake, and not just to gain accolades.

With this competition, however, comes an obsessive need to be right. A Sagittarius will break hearts and balls over an idea. They’re like Artemis, who, after catching Actaeon looking at her while she was bathing, turned him into a stag to be ripped apart by his own dogs. Artemis took the idea of virginity so seriously that she was willing to kill over the tiniest insult to it.  In fact, if she found out that one of her nymphs had slept with a man, even through rape, she would kill her. This is the darkest side of Sagittarius.

That said, Sagittarius is charming, even with the bluntness. Sagittarius is a quick wit, and, because they love to travel and explore, always have something interesting to say. Also, since Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of luck and expansion, they have an attractive quality, a charisma.  And, although it is hard for a Sagittarian to fall in love (except with independence, the feel of their feet moving along a road, and learning itself), once it happens, there is no love truer. I know this from personal experience.

Archetypes, people, and objects associated with Sagittarius:

Artemis, the Greek Archer goddess of the Moon, known as Diana to the Romans. Although you’ve probably heard of her, there’s many things about her you might not know, such as she helped her mother give birth to her twin brother, Apollo:  really detailed biography of Artemis.
Wikipedia article 

World Travelers/Gypsies

Horses–animals known for movement and power

Taliesin, the Welsh hero, who started out as a little boy named Gwion Bach, who ate a potion he shouldn’t have, and, to make a long story short, turned himself into a piece of corn and was eaten by his witch foster mother. She ended up giving birth to him nine months later. At birth, Taliesin speaks like a Rhodes scholar, and so is named Taliesin, or “bright brow,” referring to his intelligence and precocity, something Sagittarians are known for. He also travels the world and has many adventures, as Sagittarians do, all in search of truth. And, the cool part is, he’s based on a real guy! You can read more about him here:  http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/taliesin.html

Vainamoinen, the Finnish hero, whose magical voice created, manipulated, and destroyed, and whom Gandalf was modeled after. His end was brought by his hubris. Sagittarian tongues can also be balms or scalpels, and must take care not to become to arrogant. Read more about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Väinämöinen