Today we celebrate a new moon in Gemini. Gemini is a mutable air sign, ruled by the planet Mercury. When the moon is in Gemini practices such as storytelling and writing are enhanced, as is our desire to learn. Because a new moon (almost) always falls in the same sign that the sun is currently in (the sun entered Gemini around May 20th) the energy of that sign is amplified at the time of the new moon. For this reason, I like to reflect on what that sign has to offer me in the way of lessons and blessings, and I try to observe how that energy is showing up in my life both consciously (sun) and unconsciously (moon).
The new moon has always been an important time for me ritually, as it is the time of the month in which I give myself a bit of extra space for personal reflection and sadhana. These practices can take many different forms, but almost always include meditation, divination, altar building and journal writing.
I have kept a journal since I was nine years old and since I was nineteen I have written the date of each entry along with the corresponding moon phase and the astrological sign that the moon is transiting through. I am not an astrologer, and so my reflections on astrological correspondences have more to do with my basic understanding of the sign the moon is currently in along with my own intuitive experience of the energies present at the time. When an astrologer writes about the new moon they take into consideration the relationships between all the planets, when I write about the new moon I focus on the elements, qualities, and symbols related to the sign the moon is in and then look at how that lines up with my reflections on both the season we are in and what feels most alive for me at this moment in time.
We had a very long winter this year, and I loved every cozy snow filled moment of it, but I think because it was so long in coming this spring season has felt more intoxicating than ever before. Or maybe it is simply the fact that this is our first spring in our new home in Pemberton, and I am in awe of how fertile the land here is. One of my greatest desires in moving here was to deepen my relationship to place. To know the land I live upon in an intimate way. And maybe it is because of this desire that I am simply seeing the world around me with even more wonder and astonishment than ever before.
Astrologer Joanna Woolfolk says that the astrological symbol for Gemini should be the question mark as those with strong Gemini influences are perpetual students of life.
I can certainly relate to this statement, as my moon is in Gemini and learning is as important to my mind and heart as food and water are to my body. As I said earlier, Gemini is an air sign ruled by the planet Mercury. The element of air relates to mind and intellect, and Mercury has been called the messenger of the gods, which means that the influence of Gemini empowers mental curiosity and communication. My personal experience of heightened curiosity at this time has me reflecting on how I can tap into the power of this Gemini moon/sun in order to expand the ways in which I am in communication with the world around me. I will share some of my thoughts on this topic with you here.
Hermes is the Greek name for the god that the Romans later called Mercury. Hermes is considered to be both a guide and a guardian. In particular, he is a guardian of thresholds. He is quick and cunning and can move freely between realms, for not only is he the messenger of the gods, but he is also the guide to the underworld. He is also known to come to the aid of mortals, such as when he provides Odysseus with the magical herb Moly that will protect him from Circe’s magic. Hermes, like many gods of the ancient world, is also connected to earlier nature deities who supported the fertility of lands and cattle.
“It is also possible that since the beginning he has been a deity with shamanic attributes linked to divination, reconciliation, magic, sacrifices, and initiation and contact with other planes of existence, a role of mediator between the worlds of the visible and invisible.” ~ Danubian Historical Studies Vol 2, Akadémiai Kiadó
This relationship to the natural world along with his ability to traverse the medial spaces between realms is fascinating to me and is something I have been working with in my own sadhana of late. I am particularly interested in the ways in which I can tap into this Mercurial energy in order to become better at both listening to and communicating with the ancestors and nature spirits that preside over the forests, meadows, rivers, and mountains of my home. I also long to deepen my understanding of how the plants and animals themselves communicate with each other, which means I am studying botany and reading everything I can get my hands on that will give me further insight into the magic of the natural world. (I’ll share some of these books with you at the end of this article)
My personal practice is fluid, always changing with the seasons, and the new moon is when I sit down and consider how I want to shift my sadhana for the month to come. I decide what to focus on based on what it is that is now passing away from the last lunation, and what it is I wish to empower in the current lunation. With this Gemini new moon I will be continuing to move my practice out of doors with early morning walks, meditations on my back porch, yoga on the grass, in the forest and at the lake!, wildcrafting and plant ID walks, gardening, and late evening practices of simply sitting quietly and listening to the world around me as the sun goes down.
In regards to personal ritual, I have been doing more focused work with specific plant allies, in particular, Elder, Motherwort, Trembling Aspen, and local spring wildflowers. These rituals include meditations with the plants/trees, journal work, dream work, and medicine making. I have also been having a lot of fun doing divination work with these allies using tarot and oracle cards. Plant spirits have personalities and this type of work helps me to know each of them uniquely. While this may not be something you are interested in personally, I do feel that this new moon cycle offers all of us a powerful opportunity to expand the ways in which we communicate with the world around- both the seen and the unseen.
If you were going to do just one practice to support yourself in becoming more attuned to the great mystery of which you are part, I would suggest taking your meditation practice outside. Sit with your back against the skin of a tree, lie down on the green grass, or pause for a while by a river and listen deeply.
As Terry Tempest Williams says, “ The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.” And if you are not convinced of this truth then add the following books to your summer reading list. Many of them are available as audiobooks for easy listening too.
- The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
- The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature
- The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate_Discoveries from A Secret World
- The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature
The wind has just come up while I write this and is singing through the aspens outside my door. On this wind, I send new moon blessings your way in hopes that you will be inspired to take some time in the next few days to contemplate the wonder of this living web we are part of.