This is the first full moon in Aries; some say this marks the beginning of the astrological year. All I know is that the Moon is rising when spring is surprising and delighting us at every turn. And with spring comes growth and transformation of major proportions!
Many of my friends (not to mention many of everyone's friends) are experiencing major transformation nowadays. These shifts and changes are mostly brought on by our current bleak economic conditions and outlook.
For the past 6 years, I was the executive director of our local non-profit mediation center. I loved promoting peaceful conversations in our community. I loved telling people what mediation entails, whether individually or to groups or via a monthly newspaper column. I loved representing an organization that walked the talk (and helped me to learn and strive to be more peaceable) and who taught others (youth and adults; neighbors, businesses, and families) the skills of respectful conversation and dialogue.
At the beginning of our fiscal year (July 1), we had 4 full-time and 4 part-time employees as well as numerous contractors providing services. By October 1, the officers of the board of directors had eliminated 2 full-time positions vacated through attrition. And on January 29, my position was eliminated. While it was sad to leave, it wasn't really surprising; I'd been suffering in many ways through the last six months of doom and gloom.
I had also been longing for a way to have the time and energy to create art. I felt a tension inside of me between earning a living and expressing my creative self. This internal conflict felt physical to me -- like a taffy pull in my upper chest -- and had been growing for about a year.
It really rose to a conscious level in June when I took a 2-week tour of sacred sites in southern England. Next to marrying Andrew, this was the best thing I'd done for myself in decades! The group was small (6 other women) and we traveled through England in a 12-passenger van (driven by yours truly. Am I The Woman, or what? Not a nick or a scratch in 12 days and 1500 miles! And you should have seen the narrow brick gate we had to drive through at a 45 degree angle outside of Marlboro each night for a week! Sometimes, back in NC, I still want to drive on the left side of the road; but I refrain. Folks just wouldn't understand.). When I first learned of the trip, I knew I needed to go; that was in December 2007. I flew over a couple of days before the group was to meet at Gatwick airport so that I could visit Bath. Together, our group visited The Shell Temple in Margate on the east coast; Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Avebury, Glastonbury, and crop circles (!) in the center of southern England; and Tintagel, St. Nectan's Glen, and The Eden Project in Cornwall. We stayed in lovely B&Bs throughout as well as at a beautiful thatched roof cottage (built in 1670!) outside of Marlboro. It was a lovely adventure.
When I first started thinking about this upcoming pilgrimage, a vision of Stonehenge would rise in my mind's eye and I would see the spaces between the sarcens (standing stones) as a doorway of some kind for me. And indeed they were. And while all the places we visited and saw had their effects on me, the crop circles had the greatest effect. More details about them another time. Suffice it to say that I purchased a 2008 crop circle calendar to bring home with me to remind me of the power of those natural works of art, and when I hung it in my office upon my return, I saw that the photograph for June was of a complex doorway. Perfect. I just had to smile. (This circle is at the top of this entry, like a moon.) If you are interested in crop circles, check out the Crop Circle Connector http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/.
I believe that doorway has led me to this spring's growth and transformation. Losing one's livelihood and job identity is a major shift. I have chosen to look at my change as a positive one, an opportunity to manifest what I have been desiring for so long: to create an art-filled life as a way to feed my soul as well as my family. So instead of looking for a full-time "blanket" job, I am planting seeds to create a "crazy quilt": creating and selling my art as well as teaching and writing. I am excited about this opportunity. Another lesson in "be careful what you wish for; you WILL get it"! And a lesson in the Universe provides in perfect timing.
Understand, please, that I wouldn't have been able to make this transition as easily without my husband Andrew's support (monetarily through his working as well as emotionally) as well as the support of my family and friends. Thank you all for your love and encouragement! Our son Allen (18 years young today!) immediately said, "Mom, you can have my paycheck to help make ends meet." And he and Paige both immediately came to me and gave me huge hugs of support. Kathryn came over to lend me a shoulder and important practical considerations. Even more comforting was Andrew's hugs that evening when he came home. There's nothing like family, eh? And I count my friends -- and sistahs -- in that group, too.
So planting the amaryllis bulb on Imbolc (Nature's holyday celebrating the first stirring of seeds underground) was an important symbolic ritual for me to perform. I have lots of seeds to plant in order to follow my desires. Perhaps that's one reason that I'm so wondrous of the growth of the bulb!
Wishing you and yours positive changes and powerful growth under this full moon.