Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Full Bough-shedding Moon

In the fall there are the harvest festivals, the traditional time where crops are brought in from the fields, and when animal herds are culled. While this is literal for some, it also has a more symbolic meaning. It's a time to give thanks, a time for us to take stock of what we have, and to cull what we don't need. A time to prepare for the winter months - the months of turning inward.

In the spring we see a similar theme. At Imbolc there is purification, preparations, starting to get ready for the summer months where we turn our focus more outward again. In the early spring, it's the time for spring cleaning - literally and spiritually. Organize, get rid of the clutter, tidy up. Get ready for the light half of the year.

When I think of this moon cycle as the Bough-shedding moon, that's the symbolism that comes to mind. Literally, this is a description of the branches that break from the strong winds and heavy snows. Sometimes this isn't good for the trees, but sometimes it also helps the trees to lose the weaker branches, the sick branches, the dead branches that still hold on.

So for this full moon, I sat in front of the window that faces the moon - it was cloudy, but it was good to see the outdoors - and I prepared a small ritual space in Artemis' honor. I made an offering of  honey liqueur and grapes, and spent some thinking about what I no longer needed, and what I needed more of, what I needed to grow this year. I let her guide me in this - a clarity of vision, a strong focus, as well as patience. (Seems like there could always be more patience.) Get rid of the things which keep me from my goals. Don't procrastinate. Don't push important things to the back of my mind. Stay focused.

It's like hunting. Have patience, have a clear view of your target, have a strong and steady aim.

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