March 12th Full Moon in Virgo…The Last of Our Winter Cycle…

 

 

Oh mother oh moon in the dark of the night

I hear your howls, I see your tears shinning bright

Moon beams piercing me with a force no one can see

But I feel you in my being, I am you and you are me

Tonight I will howl back to you, let my voice send shivers abound

Tonight I will dance for you, Whirling about like a merry go round

Tonight I will gather from the unknown realms

The witches and wizards whom heal sacred grounds

In your full moon light you will see them shine bright

Releasing their magic, keepers of the night

My denuded being reflecting to you

the powerful paleness that makes you, you

My bumps and my bruises, my wounds deep with pride

Soak up that sweet nectar your moon beams provide

Opalescent moon dew, rejuvenate my soul

Sending me off down that ole rabbit hole

Come morning awakened by the dawns early sun

Your faintness still lingers, a lover on the run

Wanning and waxing until we are one.

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This month’s full moon on March 12 is referred to in English cultures as the Lenten Moon or the last full moon of the winter season. Known to Native American cultures as the Big Winds Moon, Worm Moon or Crow Moon as it is during this time of year that the ground begins to soften, worms begin to reappear and the crow’s caw signals the end of the snow. You may also hear it as the sap moon or sugaring moon marking the start of maple tree tapping.

The naming of the moons originates from cultures who do or did not follow the Julian or Gregorian calendar system (most specifically Native Americans). They track time through the seasons and the lunar cycles.

Not only is the moon important in the tracking of time and seasons, but in Native American cultures the moon is a large part of the medicine wheel and the culture’s astrological beliefs. Per the medicine wheel there are three moons assigned to each direction and spirit keeper of the wheel.

Starting in the North, the first moon of spirit keeper Waboose lands on Winter solstice, marking the time of year for rest and renewal. The three moon cycles of the north allow time to contemplate the growth and change that occurred in the previous year and prepare for what is to come in the year ahead.

As we approach this month’s full moon in Virgo we are closing this time of restoration and preparing to enter the cycle of Wabun, spirit keeper of the East. Our spring moons mark a time of bringing fourth our inner wisdom as we sprout into our fullest potential by summer.

According to the medicine wheel, people born during this moon cycle are represented by the cougar animal totem. It is said that these people contain the inner power to be of great healers which also aligns with western astrology’s Virgo Archetype of a nurse or healer.

The celestial energy of this Virgo moon is said to bring awareness to what it is we need to let go of in order to blossom into the spring months. This moon may bring about frustrations towards our faults and flaws, but if looked at with the right perspective, can be seen as aspects of our selves that need to be healed, released or let go of in order to continue the cycle of growth.

The energy of Virgo is very grounded in nature and has a keen critical eye… tuning into these aspects while sorting through what needs to go, will allow you to stay centered and not get lost in the emotional side of bringing awareness to the frailty of unhealed wounds.

By tapping into the energy of this month’s moon, you may find it comes natural to spark up your inner warrior strength and use that power to heal those wounds before entering the spring cycle.

Although this energy is present from the start of the moon cycle (new moon) till the start of the next cycle, it is at its strongest during the full moon. Upon entering a new moon, it is a time to plant our seeds and cultivate our manifestations we want present during this cycle. Once we reach our halfway point, the full moon is a time of culmination. It is when her energy and power is at its peak. The full moon light in all her glory illuminates the things in our lives that are holding us back from reaching our full potential. She Illuminates the aspects of our lives that are no longer serving us and she brings to focus that which we need to let go of.

Representing a time of death or change, releasing our shadows during the full moon allows room for the seeds planted during the new moon to blossom.

Not only is this entire moon cycle supporting what needs to be healed and let go of, but the power of the full moon we will have this weekend, will illuminate that theme even more, allowing us to connect with our inner wisdom and strength that will open us up to the possibilities of spring time.

 

So this weekend if you are feeling the call of the moon I suggest a little moon ceremony or ritual to help you tap in to this powerful lunar energy.

In the past few months I have been considering and researching different Moon rituals and ceremony’s. There is so much information on the internet today it can be a bit overwhelming when researching such a topic. I found myself coming across many rituals that were all very similar but unique in their own way.

So how do you choose?

For starters, always remember there is no right or wrong way to communicate and call upon the moon. Her force is with us always controlling the tides of the ocean, and controlling the tides of our lunar cycles. She is a part of us and we are a part of her.

I feel it is important to foster your personal relationship with the moon. We are all different… We tune into energy in our own ways, we give and receive in our own ways, we communicate in our own ways so find what works for you.

The one universal aspect of all rituals I have found is creating your sacred place to perform the ritual, as well as writing down what it is that you need to let go of and burning it during your ceremony.

Aside from those two things do what works for you!

Create a sacred place that contains your power tools… Your favorite crystals, your favorite candles, your favorite essential oils and incense, music, tarot cards, singing bowls or bells, sacred herbs to be smoked or burned etc.

For me personally my sacred space is my altar and meditation zone. It is the space I spend my waking minutes, as well as the minutes leading to sleep each night…

Here is an overview of my personal full moon ritual…

  1. Preparing my space:because my altar is always set up, for me my preparation includes revisiting what I planted during the new moon and writing on a piece of paper what it is I am letting go of, pouring a glass of water (to put burned paper in), rolling a joint with marijuana and lavender, lighting my incense, applying essential oils, lighting my candles and smudging myself, my altar and my tarot cards with sage.

Some say that white candles and crystals as well as lavender and frankincense are best, as white represents lunar power and the scents are associated with the moon, but again I say use whatever speaks to you (to me that is what will be most powerful).

 

I then smoke the first half of my joint as I clear my head space and begin imagining the moons light shining down through the top of my head and spreading throughout my entire being.

 

  1. Prayer: I begin with three Oms as I feel it ignites my inner power and I then recite a prayer, chant or poem (as some may call it). The prayer I now use is one I wrote during January’s Wolf Moon which is written at the start of my post…
  2. Tarot:Shuffling my Angle Oracle cards, I call upon them to connect with the lunar energy surrounding me and focus on what it is I am letting go off. I ask my cards to guide me in moving on from those things. I then lay a past, present, future spread. I interpret the cards as follows:
  • Past: energies that have been let go of or that need to be put in the past
  • Present: where you are at in your spiritual journey, what energy you hold within yourself to guide you
  • Future: the energy the full moon is guiding you with
  1. Release:After my reading I then read aloud the words I have written on my paper and with each thing to let go of I finish with “Be Gone”. I then burn the paper, placing it in the glass of water as it nears the end. If I am really feeling it, at this time I will let out some howls to the moon! 😊
  2. Closing:I then smudge myself and my altar again with sage as I feel it aids in the release of what was written on paper, ridding yourself of any lingering energy that may not have burned in the fire. I then smoke the second half of my joint while I express gratitude to my angles, my spirits and of course Mama de La Lune

 

Happy howling moon goddesses!!!

 

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The Holistic Conquering of My Ongoing Battle with Nicotine…

Nicotine… for any of you who are users Im sure you can relate to the intense love hate relationship I have had with it over the last few years… A relationship that thankfully did not start until my early twenties, but when it finally did conspire it was hot and heavy from the get go!

As a child, I always hated cigarettes. My parents were heavy smokers, and I remember in my really young years having an irrational fear of walking outside one day and finding them dead on the porch because their cigarette killed them right on the spot.

I remember multiple times throughout my childhood hiding my parent’s cigarette butt container, throwing their cigarettes away, breaking them, and dipping them in water… I was so happy the day my parents finally quit smoking!

But for some reason, even with all that hate towards those little cancer sticks, I always had it in my head that it was cool to smoke… I thankfully steered clear of those little bastards longer than most, but the naivety of being a young adult steered me to my first pack of American Spirits.

It started as a social thing for me… It made me feel like I “belonged” to something. My close friends smoked, and a boy I was trying to impress smoked, everyone at the bars smoked… I told myself it would only be a social thing when I was partying, but it did not take long for that occasional puff to turn into a full forced dependency.

I went from smoking at the bars to smoking any chance I had… in my car, on my breaks at work, after I ate a meal, and especially when in social situations that caused me anxiety (which at that point in my life was every social situation).

It only got worse when I started taking ADHD medication and would sit on my back porch with my best friend and chain smoke cigs until the early hours of the morning…

I no longer had any willpower against them and they quickly became my new best friend… or so I thought…

As the smoking continued, my outlook on it all became very unhealthy. I loved smoking so much but I also still hated the bastards so much! Every smoke I had I would beat myself up in my head for smoking it. I caused myself so much guilt for every puff, but still could not stop. There were times I didn’t give a shit because I loved them so much, but then there were times that I would try so hard to quit and when I couldn’t master it, I would fall back in 10 times harder almost smoking to make up for the lost time….

A nicotine rollercoaster…

It was almost as if this battle between my body and mind was taking place… my body would tell me to stop smoking, then I would attempt it and my mind would tell me, “No… you are not strong enough to overcome this, you love nicotine, you need nicotine…”

Any time I would fail I would tell myself I had no will power and that I was weak… making excuse after excuse for myself as to why I couldn’t quit smoking. These excuses justified my addiction in my own head…

Well today marks 5 weeks of me being nicotine free (aside from one spliff smoked about halfway through) which is why I am writing this blog today… to share with you what finally helped me overcome this dependency that for 4 years I told myself I would never beat…

The most important step for me in quitting was self- love:

Over the past year, and especially the last few months I hit an enormous turning point in my healing journey to self-love… I remember sitting down about a week before I officially quit smoking and made a list of the positive and negatives of smoking cigarettes… obviously, my negatives outweighed my positives, but what really helped me in the process was looking at the list of negatives and thinking about causing that sort of harm to someone in my life that I really truly loved… the thought was horrifying. I could never cause such harm to my loved ones so why was I doing it to myself?

It was in that moment that the abundant love that I now have for myself completely took over any want or desire to smoke a cigarette. After this epiphany occurred quitting nicotine almost came naturally…

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Along with the power of self-love there were a few other things that really helped me in holistically overcoming my nicotine addiction…

First and foremost was meditation:

I began meditating on the topic… imagining all the horrible toxins that were entering my body every time I puffed on a cigarette… the images that overcame my mind were disgusting… a black thick tar seeping down my throat and into my lungs leaking out and taking over my entire body. I could see all my organs shriveling up through oxygen deprivation as this tar took over… slowly killing me from the inside out…

I would then imagine the strength of my mind reminding me of how good it felt to smoke that cigarette, the act of smoking, the smell and taste of it, the way it felt when the nicotine rushed to my brain… all of it soooo good in my mind and those thoughts so strong, but as I did these imagery meditations the tar that I saw building up inside of me began leaking out of my brain helping me realize that those thoughts were really just the nicotine addiction speaking causing me weakness so it could continue taking over my body.

Through all of this I came to the realization that I needed to cleanse myself of this black tar… not just physically through diet and detoxes but also energetically. If I really wanted to overcome this I needed to strengthen my own will power and balance my chakras.

Alongside some juice cleanses and liver detoxes I began meditating every morning focusing on one chakra at a time. I began my meditation with the image of myself lying on the ground full of this thick sticky black tar that was feeding off my insides… I then began to imagine with each breath I took a powerful white light of energy working its way through each of my chakras breaking up this dark tar and eventually disintegrating it.

I have tried to make it a point to do this meditation once a day for the last 5 weeks. Keeping the image of this black tar fresh on my mind has drastically helped me stay on track.

Here is a link to a small overview of the 7 chakras and their correlation to addiction that I found interesting and beneficial in my healing process!

The next thing that really helped the process was herbs or plant medicine:

The power of plant medicine ceases to amaze me every time I learn more and am able to apply my new knowledge to my life… a couple years back my naturopath gave me a tincture that contains Oat straw, Skullcap, Licorice root, Lobelia, and St. john’s wort to help me quit smoking. I never really used it until this attempt to quit and it truly was a game changer… The key ingredient in this tincture was the Lobelia or “Indian Tobacco”, which is an herb that acts in the same way as nicotine as far as how it triggers our neurotransmitters and dopamine levels in the nervous system, but does not have the negative side effects of nicotine nor is it addictive.

 

The healing properties of these herbs as defined in my “Prescriptions for Natural Healing Encyclopedia” are as follows (you may also click here for more online information on the specific uses/ benefits when used to stop nicotine addiction):

  • Oat straw: Has antidepressant properties, acts as a restorative nerve tonic, and promotes sweating. Good for depression and insomnia
  • Skullcap: Aids sleep, improves circulation, and strengthens the heart muscle. Good for anxiety, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, headache, hyperactivity, nervous disorders, and rheumatism. Relieves muscle cramps, pain spasms, and stress. Useful in treating barbiturate addiction and drug withdrawal
  • Licorice Root: Cleanses the colon, decreases muscular spasms, increases fluidity of mucus in the lungs and bronchial tubes, and promotes adrenal gland function.
  • Lobelia: A cough suppressant and relaxant that aids in hormone production and reduces cold symptoms and fever. Beneficial in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu, and cardiovascular disease. Has nicotine like effects on the body.
  • John’s Wort: Good for depression and anxiety. Lung, bronchial tract and blood detoxifier.

Another way in which I used herbs to heal was by smoking a joint that contained marijuana mixed with an herbal blend to aid in lung detoxification. The full ingredient list of the herbal blend I used is unknown as it was a homemade mix given to me by a friend but I know the main ingredient was Mullen. There are many recipes and premade blends online including how to make you’re your own blends found here.

For me not only was the herbal blend medicinally beneficial but I feel that it aided in helping me stop the actual physical habit of smoking. The act of smoking is the habit side of it, whereas the chemical reaction of the nicotine and its affects in the body is the addiction side of it. When I was able to smoke a joint during a craving and have the physical act of smoking no longer correlate with nicotine, it allowed my neurotransmitters to reprogram themselves. In about two weeks I noticed the lack of satisfaction I was receiving from the physical act of smoking something and now do not need the herbal blend.

(Always remember when using holistic healing approaches and plant medicine, just because it is a “natural alternative” does not mean it does not have negative side effects… everyone’s bodies and health status is different… please consult professionals or find other adequate ways to educate yourself on herbal remedies and plant medicine!)

Another very beneficial part in stopping my habit was changing my diet and eating patterns:

For me I found that eating smaller, more easily digestible meals made it easier to quit… I have a pretty bad digestive system and nicotine acts as a digestive aid, so adjusting my meal sizes and steering clear of dairy products and heavy meals helped me curve my need to smoke after a meal. I also drastically reduced my caffeine intake replacing it with dandelion tea which is a liver and blood detoxifier… the less nicotine in my system the less cravings. I also have been very conscious of the amount of water I have been drinking as that is key in detoxing your body!

And last but certainly not least, a huge part of my success in all this was daily affirmations and positive self-talk:

No long defining myself as a smoker drastically helped my mindset and my willpower in all of this. In previous attempts to quick smoking I viewed myself as a smoker who is trying to quit but this time around, the day I quit smoking was the day I was no longer a smoker…

Every morning before I leave my house I look in the mirror and I tell myself, “You are not a smoker… your love for yourself is unmeasurably stronger than any want or desire to poison your body with nicotine, and no matter what you are feeling inside you do not NEED nicotine you WANT it, and just because you want something does not mean you can have it… In life, you can’t always get what you want, but you always have what you need… what you have today is the NEED to heal your body and start treating it as the temple to your soul.”

Now, when I am in social situations where smoking is taking place I try not to tell people, “I recently quit smoking” or “I am trying to quit smoking”, I now tell them, “I AM NOT A SMOKER”.

I am also constantly reminding myself of my inner strength and will power, because in my opinion when you are aware of and honor that internal power you become unstoppable!

I also want to add that this did not happen over night, nor was it easy… a lot of failed attempts (or speed bumps as I like to call them) had to take place to finally reach where I am at.

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