Storm Moon Rising

Storm Moon Rising

Some Native American tribes call it the Full Snow Moon, since February is the month with the heaviest snowfall, coming down in droves of silent white, blanketing the earth in frozen fabrics of stillness and pallid quiet. Other tribes named it the Hunger Moon, the Ice Moon or the Storm Moon, for with the heavy snow comes scarcity. Hunting would therefore become increasingly difficult, leaving many hungry and cold.

 

 

The moon has long been an honored cosmic feminine energy in many cultures spanning the ages. And like any female energy, she is an enigma dictating the pushing and pulling of tides of oceans and seas across the face of our Earth. She is a whitewashed muse of emotion hanging in our starry sky, scattering her seeds that take root as the fruits of creativity, strength, vigor, and sometimes, madness.
The full moon and lunar eclipse of February have been a waxing collection of rising energies that have been building up over the last five months since September 2016. Take a moment and reflect upon the last few months of your life. Have you noticed an ongoing trend of transformations and an insatiable thirst for change, one which cannot seem to be satisfied? Personally, these past five months have been a collection of tumultuous hunts of self, and of deep reflection and questioning.
During this month of February, a month of love, snow and hunger, we shall explore the full moon in Leo and Penumbral lunar eclipse that will take place on the 10th of February. We will answer questions as to what this moon symbolizes and what it means for our own push and pull of the mind and heart. We will recommend ways to prepare and garner the benefits of this Storm Moon so you do not go hungry this month. It is time to sit, eat and listen.
Total Eclipse of the Heart

Lunar eclipse energies usually spans over a period of six months and is often a period of contemplation of both our unconscious thoughts and drives. On February 10th, we will finally be allowed the opportunity for renewal of relationships and reconstruction of our lives. In a world that does not sleep or slow down, this window of rest must be taken advantage of. Make sure you set an intention of truth and grounding, for these intents will last for another six months until the next lunar eclipse, which takes place during August 2017.
The Rise of Fire and Snow

Storm moon rising in Leo, a sign of fire, loyalty and zeal, will be a time driven by the Lion’s vivacious passion of expression of self, which, unsurprisingly, draws many people to their whimsical and enjoyable company. And while Leo is indeed a patron of devotion and jubilation, its dark side takes form in aggression, arrogance, introversion and jealousy. The full moon in ‘Fire’ should therefore be a time when we embrace the positive and uplifting side of Leo, stepping out into the dazzling sunshine of exuberance that sings and radiates with joy and uplifting qualities. Leo’s ruler is the sun, embodying the light and full awareness of self. Without the sun there can be no life or growth, but too much sun can be deadly. So step out lightly in its glow, basking in rays of balance.
Preparation

So what can we do to reap the harvest of this ‘Moon of Snow Storm and Fire’?
First, let us create a sacred space to surround ourselves with, and reinforce our spiritual forte to fully relish the benefits of this full moon:
Gemstones

It is believed that some colors manifest certain energies and frequencies capable of healing, elevating and enhancing our moods and humours. As our moon reaches her beautiful round self and dances to the beat of Leo, the color we should therefore be surrounding ourselves with, is yellow.

 

 

Gather your gemstones, especially those boasting the colors of Leo, such delicious honey hues of yellows, golds and cream, and set your sacred space ablaze in their beneficial healing properties and vibrations.
You can choose from an array of yellow gemstones such as ruby and amber (the stones of Leo), dark citrine, carnelian, topaz tiger’s eye and iron pyrite. Once you have gathered your arsenal, authentically set intentions, whatever they maybe, and sit by your gemstone fireside as you feel their warmth of healing, opening your heart and mind to their welcoming powers and ritualistic embrace.
Yellow, a “sun color”, represents the third Chakra (solar plexus). It signifies all that drives our ego, and celebrates courage, self-confidence, self-orientation, joy and laughter. Sounds like our loyal Leo doesn’t it?
As well as sharing a colour and characteristics, this Chakra’s element is fire, an expressive and explosive culmination of dynamism and blazing power. Be aware of this element and respect it. It can been nurturing and life giving, but it can also be a destructive reaper of discord if left wild and unchecked.
Take this time beloved and surround yourself in a golden embrace with colors of courage and yellow gemstones, like little suns orbiting your cosmic moment of peace.
If you are going through a transition, whether is it adjusting to a new career path, a new relationship (or an end to one), this color will be extremely valuable in arming yourself as the full moon and eclipse reach their zenith of transformation.

 

 

Intentions Intentions Intentions

This is a time for spiritual purification and initiation. So allow yourself to take a much needed moment during your busy schedule to sit down in preparation for the upcoming full moon. Write, journal or meditate on specific intentions that will nourish your self-confidence and orientation.
This is a time to reinforce your sacred place and home, channeling in the power of this moon, and flooding your space with its cosmic glory.
Create affirmations and mantras. Compose music and paint! Go crazy and lose yourself in the lunar lust as you dance in the moonlight. If your body calls for rest, then do so.  Take a long hot bath in purifying salts and minerals.
Forgive yourself. Forgive those around you who you feel have wronged you, but do not resurrect buried grudges and conflicts. Do not burn bridges, but Instead, reinforce them with forgiveness, mercy and love.
Plan, stretch and inhale deeply. For the full moon cometh, and with it comes a time for spiritual purification and time for initiation.
It is a time of rising you.

Dazzles and Roars

“From here we leave the path,” said our guide.  We had embarked on a 28 kilometer hike towards Waterfall Bluff located just south of the Mkambahti Nature Reserve, and had been walking for over four hours across the many changing faces of the Wild Coast terrain, climbing steep rocky hills, treading across shifting sands and beaches, and walking through oceans of grass fields freckled with yellow flowers.

The ‘path’ that our guide mentioned was not much of a path to begin with. It was simply a cluster of narrow, winding, dirt footways carved by years of treading shepherds and their cows.  Yet we carried on, silently falling in line behind one another in silence towards the Falls. As we grew closer to our goal, our guide led us to Cathedral Rock, a breathtaking geological formation rising from the ocean in stony defiance. It had been molded by wind and water into a pyramid shaped sculpture created by nature herself. And so with renewed anticipation, we carried on, our bodies heavy with exhaustion.

Following another hour of hiking and climbing, we had finally made it. The wind was becoming stronger and coming up fast and hard.  All I could hear was the whaling gusts blasting past my ears, drowning out my racing heartbeat as we crawled down the sheer side of the rocky cliff, and I was sure that I was going to be blown off trying to get to Waterfall Bluff.  Don’t look down, was all I could think.

Once we scaled down > the side of the jagged cliff (I pretty much clung on for dear life!), and ducked down past the final rocky hurdle, you can hear it; the crashing symphony of waves and the rising crescendo of water and rock! Then you turn the corner of the protruding ragged rock face jutting out and there it is, awaiting you, Waterfall Bluff.

On this particularly cloudy and windy day, the waterfall, trapped in a torrent of updrafts and gusts, struggled to find home as it cast itself down into the Indian Ocean (it is only one of eight waterfalls in the world to meet an ocean or sea).  Our long trek was definitely worth seeing this incredible display of nature, and we sat in entranced silence, drinking the scene of majesty with thirsty eyes and hearts until we were ready to march on back towards our lodge for another 14 kilometres.

Located at the mouth of the Mboyti River on the Eastern Coast of South Africa, sits a charming resort, Mboyti River Lodge. Surrounding it is the sea and a lagoon where you can kayak in the mirror-like waters of the estuary (where the lake meets the ocean) that hugs the property. The beaches are nestled between rolling green hills, and on some days, cow herders come down with their slow moving beasts of burden to walk across the shores as the blue waters lap away their hoof prints.

When visiting South Africa, one must of course undertake a great adventure and book a safari tour! We chose Springbok Lodge located on Nambiti Game Reserve in Ladysmith. Every morning, we awoke at 4.30 AM with the wild African sun newly spilling out in golds and roses  across the jet black night sky.  Eyes heavy with sleep, we would climb into the open game viewing Land Cruiser and tour the acres of forest and open plaines, holding within their grassy folds vast treasures of wild African animals; dazzles of zebras, prides of lions and countless herds of elephants.  The first ride out was probably the most terrifying and exciting, for you do not know what to expect! The safari vehicle had no windows or protection whatsoever, and we were basically exposed to the animals should they have chosen to attack!

Four days spent on safari had to be one of the most eye opening, and impactful experiences of my life. As we drove down winding dirt roads, thrown around inside our car, we would come across incredible scenes of wildlife.  Once we stopped to take photographs of a huge bull elephant, when suddenly the African sky opened up and it began to rain heavily down upon us. Whips and flashes of lightning began to descend, and was joined by its booming brother.  Our guide and driver, Promise, told us to hold on as we sped towards the safety of the Springbok Lodge as the waters began to rise and the lightning grew nearer.  All around us animals stood still in the rain like living statues, watching the strange metallic creature slide through mud and rubble.

Our last morning was possibly the most eventful part of our safari visit.  Coffee in hand at 5 am, we went out for the final time to look for herds and prides of whatever animal chose to reveal itself to us.  Ten minutes into our excursion, a large male lion was spotted near our location in the park.  Promise hurriedly drove towards the apparent spotting of the lion and  once we arrived, he turned off the engine and told us to keep quiet and stay alert for the big cat. Suddenly, from the covering of tall grasses and shrubs, he emerged. Formidable, fierce and on the prowl for breakfast.

The largest animal I had ever seen up close was walking straight towards us, and all I could think was that he is about to jump in and rip us to shreds. The king of the jungle was so close that I could see every color of his stunning mane of dancing browns and golds, glinting to the dazzling sunshine.

Left in the wake of shock and awe, we continued on for our final drive.  Soon enough, we stumbled upon another incredible scene, two male giraffes ‘necking’ for mating rites.  At first the two males were simply circling each other silently, when suddenly one of them violently threw his head towards his opponent’s long exposed neck and delivered the first brutal blow. This dangerous display continued for ten minutes and the older male began to falter, due to the ongoing ruthless hits by the younger male.  As the older and darker fighter (as giraffes age their coloring gets darker) began to realize that he was going to lose this fight, he attempted to run away, only to be chased by the stronger, younger male.

It was here that I fell in love with South Africa. I fell for the sky during our safari drives when we ventured out for early morning and evening rides. Each time we drove out to the reserve, there it was waiting for us in a brilliant parade of clouds, awash in gold and rose. I fell in love with walking barefoot on the cool grass outside our lodge, dewy and cool against my feet. I fell for the smiles of the people, always welcoming and open-hearted to any new adventurer.

But what really stole my heart was being around nature and watching wild animals roam the South African planes. In a way it saddened me that a number of the animals we saw were greatly endangered, and were under constant threat from poachers.

Our travels through South Africa restored my love and respect for Mother Nature.  While most of us are forever imprisoned within urban jungles of concrete and steel, we often forget the importance of escaping these trappings.  Being back home makes me realize how much I miss walking out into the cool morning air as we set out for safari, and how alive our earth is with music, music composed by birds and animals, by the wind and waves. We are deaf to these songs, and it is time to listen.

Ladies Night Personified

 

There, in the gentle glow of a waning moon,

sat a circle of friends.

Pockets of conversations were shared and passed around,

like a tantalizing meal of morsels and dishes

flavored and garnished with the familiar and new.

The winking wine danced with the candlelight

As each one sipped, savored and spoke

of their week’s trials and tribulations,

accompanied by laughs and jubilations.

Their voices filled the still night air

Adding to the symphony of nocturnal song.

They had done this for years now, masters in their own right.

Bending time, for it frequently stood still to watch

As they recaptured their joys, sorrows and memories lost.

Each word, a granule of sand

In the timeless hourglass of sisterhood.

She understood her. They understood me.

Whether in spoken or silenced words.

In the waning moonlight rays sat,

A circle of timelessness.

Laughter and tears joined them in discussion.

And all around, witnesses stood like stone to watch

Frozen and carved from admiration,

Wishing to join,

Share,

Learn,

From these moon washed beauties.

 

 

The Vault of Heavens

I have had the privilege and humbling right to travel the world, collecting skies and memorizing celestial treasures bound to the heavens as I explored the many countries, cities and secrets of this world.  With the power of poetry, I paint for you these pictures so that we can walk side by side and gaze up at the stars together.

 

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The vault of heavens

 

 

I am a collector of skies which I chase

Holding a net for these butterflies of space

I swoop in with my netted memory sewn of lace

And my bounty has grown as I continue to encase

These sun-washed and jet black cosmic creatures

Never the same, made of distinctive features.

 

Some seem gentle, awash in pink and gold

While others are brazen, and blackened and bold

For if you listen, each sky sings stories

So let us delve down into my heavenly inventories

 

In the midst of night when the earth seems to sleep

Artemis stirs preparing for the nocturnal keep

Across the inky black planes of the Saudi sky

Her chariot of stars goes flashing by.

It is here on the Red Sea of blackened blue waters

I find myself looking for midnight’s hunting daughter

Rolling waves of onyx and carbon

Mix into the seamless sky like an unspoken bargain

Eyes forever locked heaven bound

As I ponder and wonder to what has not yet been found

What lies behind that planetary mask of black

An unexplored interstellar wild outback?

 

Travel to the ends of the earth, and there you will find

A sky that peers down upon a place once mined

For time has stood still here with very little change

It is a land of wildness and endless open range

Upon the grey sky of ashen coal and gold

Sits the kingly mountains made of ice and cold

 

Majestic they sit in their wintry throne

One as bright and parched as sun-bleached bone

For the glaciers of Svalbard are part of the sky

The place where the aurora is wild to fly

Across the interstellar playground of planets and stars

Where the moon and the sun dances with mars

Endless summers of immortal sunlight you’ll see

Soon to be followed by moonlight months of three

 

What other vaults of heavens have I captured you’d ask

One, a place of rolling hills upon which to sleepily bask

This memory is one of the ‘long white cloud’

Named Aotearoa for this Stratus shaped shroud

Worn by the sky of countless blue shades

Where one seems to start, as the other type fades

Turquois, azure, cobalt and teal

Countless hues of blues turning upon this stratospheric wheel

 

 

And so my hunt continues for suns and of stars

To enthral you with celestial tales and terrestrial memoirs

 

 

 

 

Other

Please check the box of which applies,

the one that captures you, or at least tries

Please pick your sex, race and role,

Or at least something close, and continue to scroll.

Which one applies closest to you?

White, black or brown, to name just a few.

Neither you say? Well then just relent.

For you do not fit our generic convent.

So why bother at all, an ‘other’ you’ll be.

You cannot be an I, you must fit the ‘we’.

Other they call me,

Another it is!

I wear my crown of ‘other’ like it’s my sole biz.

One of honor, of character and of right.

I reign over the land of misfits with entitled delight.

Our clan is of rebels, jests and of laughs.

Where we dabble in ‘other’ sorts of trickery and crafts.

King of others is who I am

Box-less.

Nameless.

Loud.

Shameless.

Mixed blood of two worlds,

Of East and of West.

Born to stand out, among the routine rest.

So please pick your liking in the boxes below,

Are you of character, or lacking of soul?

For neither you nor I are a box you see,

We are the ‘other’

The unorthodox,

The free.

My kitchen floor confession

I write to you from rockbottom.  Well, for me it was the kitchen floor in the arms of my mother sobbing hysterically.  This morning I had a sudden mental break and felt the weight of everything in my life bring me down to my knees, and on that beautiful dark wooden floor, I let out a wail of raw grief.  I have only let out that sounds twice before in my life and it was when I was told I lost a friend to a car crash in 2006, and when I was told  that my beloved grandfather had passed.

The fight with my mother, aka the tipping point of my sanity, was over washing mason jars. Yes people, mason jars. We could9de433482e02812ef90758693580-postn’t agree as to whether or not we should put them in the dishwasher to properly clean them.  It was then and there I snapped and began yelling out “you always dismiss my anger and fears” and after this bizarre quarrel over cleanliness I crumpled to the floor, finally succumbing to the crushing weight of the worries of my life.

After the wailing, tears and nausea, I arose feeling better and lighter. It truly felt like a total body purge, and my entire body felt like it had been bracing itself for this expected wave of darkness to hit me. Well, I made it out the other side and this lugubrious swell that washed over me taking with it everything that I had been hold on to.

This has been the most trying time of my life, it is a great test of unknowns that the universe or whatever higher power has bestowed upon me.  It is t
he unknown of love, career and health, and this trifecta has pushed me so far into the stratosphere of discomfort I cannot even remember what my comfort zone feels like. My body is still raging with bacterial infections, and last week my GI informed me that along with some other bacterial infections in my gut and bladder and God knows where else, I am also playing host to a bacterial strain called H Pylori, which is probably the cause of my digestive issues, nausea, and can eventually lead to more terrifying symptoms such as stomach ulcers and the fun part, stomach cancer. Looks like the endoscopy and colonoscopy was a good idea.  So now I feel like undesired a petri dish with gastritis.

The course of action? More antibiotics of course! Three at once for fourteen days to be exact.  My one year anniversary of antibiotics recently passed last November and it was a very sobering moment of realization that I have been on antibiotics for that long.  Sometimes even two at a time.  Eventually they had to stop administering them since I became resistant to some.  Now my GI wants to put me on three, and that began this sudden spiraling ride into the pits  of despair, one which I am finally clawing my way out of.

 

 

Bottoms up

It had a metallic sweetness to it that made my stomach churn with nausea, and as I sipped on the noxious cocktail all I could think was, I still have 16 ounces of this stuff to finis!  It is day three of my pre colonoscopy and endoscopy prep and so far, this is the most unpleasant part of it.  Tomorrow is the day I will have a small tube-like mechanism with a camera on the end of it poke around to take an in-depth look through my body in order to discover just what the hell is going on with my digestive system.

Two days ago I started my ‘low fiber’ diet, which is primarily food with zero nutritional value and loads of sugar. Hey any excuse for sugar is the diet for me! But seriously, it wasn’t all bad and list included some of my favorite things like pretzels, saltines, pancakes and and peanut butter. The only real food I have eaten these past fews days are melon, ripened bananas, which I discover I love putting on saltines (weird I know), and eggs that came from happy cage-free country chickens I promise. Saturday I stuck to my diet like a good little patient and had pancakes with peanut butter, how dedicated am I?  It is these delectable memories that I carry with me through this final leg of the purging race.A race, that is exactly what it feels like right now, running back and forth from my bed to the bathroom and keeping myself entertained in between each dash with Netflix.

Before having to forcefully drink the clear 16 oz. liquid prescription that basically incinerates your insides and simulates a watered-down version of ebola (too soon?), I was ‘hangry’ and strung out on sorbet all day.   You see, on the third day of prep you begin your ‘clear liquid diet’ and sorbet was the closest thing to solid food permitted on this fabulous liquified menu. After the impending clock stuck five today, I had to take my first of two doses of a bowel prep kit and after finishing one this evening I am not sure if I am going to have the courage to polish off another one tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM.

Oddly enough what really scares me about this procedure isn’t the constant race back and forth or the putrid brew, but it is the idea of the anesthesia. I have yet to be put under since I have fortunately never had to have surgery, and for some odd reason, I do not like the idea of not being in control of my consciousness.  I am the commander of this crazy ship and having a stranger being the master of my awareness is just something I cannot get comfortable with.  Many have tried to soothe my apprehension and have told me this is the most painless part, it is just like falling asleep.  This should be easy shouldn’t it? Then why am I nervous? Most people would complain that the bowel prep is the hardest part, however for me the test will come tomorrow as I give the helm of dreams away to another and pray they sail my ship through calm waters.