It has been six lunar months since I did my final evaluation as part of my yoga teacher training. It was the full moon at the height of spring, and all of the songs on my playlist had to do with things in full bloom, especially roses. This even included such tonally disparate selections as Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose”, and A Perfect Circle’s “Rose”. [I turned the volume way down, after realizing that I am not my teacher who stitches together all manner of soundscapes until I feel like I’m in a Baz Luhrmann film, as shifting emotional tones overtake the room and pass over my face like masks, until I become acquainted with the awareness that underlies all transitory states of thought and feeling. I turned down the volume because it feels more comfortable for me to teach yoga or anything else when I can take a lot of cues for pacing, pausing, and minor adjustments to the curricular plan from the students – their energetic vibe, areas of curiosity, level of engagement/disengagement].
Back in May I themed my 25-minute evaluation class on the full moon in Scorpio, which can serve as a reminder during the height of the spring season, when all is in bloom and the earth is verdant and colorful, that many underground, unseen processes of decay, death, and regeneration have resulted in the visible beauty of springtime. I translated this into a meditation on the body, on all the hidden rituals of dissolution and reconstitution of resources our organs perform every day, in each moment, by their own will, to sustain our lives. I didn’t have time for it, but was tempted to weave in a mythological theme: each spring the maiden Persephone returns to the home of her mother Demeter, the goddess of growing things, after spending three months, or half the year with her husband Hades, Lord of the Underworld.
And each fall she dies, and her mother takes away the light.
Today the full moon is in Taurus, and for the past couple of days in the fullness of the season when the light is waning, I chose to honor the visible and the readily available. I chose to hearten myself, to nourish my body, to appreciate those who surround me, in the following ways:
- Sitting in the foggy morning quiet and foregoing the normal vigorous movement routine.
- Baking rich autumnal foods: a stilton tart, and spiced butternut squash loaf.
- Taking the time to appreciate my colleagues for their craft.
- Eating delicious Sichuan food with old friends and speaking about all manner of trivial and consequential topics.
- Watching Joni Mitchell performances on Youtube with my dad and talking and laughing about the peculiarities of the artists we know and love.
- Hanging out with the cat.
- Writing a poem.
What’s your way of honoring that which is visible and present for you, including perhaps some difficult, previously hidden things which circumstances have dredged up and dragged out into the light?
A poem for the full moon, for the body: In Situ
And finally I’ll share what I wrote today, inspired by exploration of relationships between the body’s outer and inner forms. Because we also have a retrograde Mercury in Scorpio, the inner forms ought to be remembered too…
in tired steps to fill the invisible scaffolding
of a slim and pointed spire
so that all her cells stand
to emulate the reach of her fingertips
clamoring silently for skies ready
On her knees
in fragile angularity, like brittle bones
of deer’s knees
meeting wretched ground
forgets its feet
when she tries to make it smaller
and folds herself in half
and avoids looking downward
but anyway, her eyes shift there.
Her pupils twist themselves around and pierce
flesh beneath her navel
swelling like heady summer air
that fills the empty nights
with floating lightning bugs and
She folds herself up and eats half
And drinks half
And nourishes the half that has been good today,
while the other beckons like the waiting night,
the deep forest beyond the
guardrails edging the road.
And still she looks, until her probing pupils widen
and for the moment her world is just her love
for dark entrails wrapped
and rippling in their watery homes.
And when she closes her eyes
They echolocate insights
While she listens and
records their auguries.