Star Stories: April 2020

Ceremony and Ritual

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strology for April 2020

Note for April: Blessed April friends! This month has a lot of fire and air energy that is calmed and grounded by the Sun moving into Taurus as well as the earthy Taurus New Moon. Go outside, pay attention to the land, and celebrate all the things that are flourishing in and around you!

4/1: Waxing Quarter at 12 degrees Cancer, 5:21 AM – All Fools Day. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: Where do I need to increase nourishment?

4/3: Venus moves into Gemini. This year Venus is in Gemini for a looong time because it will retrograde through this sign. When Lady V is in the sign of the Twins it means we are all more charming and flirtatious than usual! It also can mean that fidelity and exclusivity are much harder to come by.
Ask: What am I not ready to commit to?

4/4: Venus Trine Saturn. Although Venus in Gemini gets your flirt on, this trine with Saturn is actually beneficial for long term commitments and a marriage proposal made today would signify a lasting bond! This is also a great day to get spending and finances in check – just before tax time!
Ask: What am I ready to commit to?

4/4: Jupiter and Pluto Conjunction. This pairing occurs every 13 years. It is sometimes referred to as the “mogul” pairing and carries a lot of potential for creating deep wealth and money magic.
Ask: Where am I ready to deepen my wealth and abundance?

4/7: Full Moon at 18 degrees Libra, 9:35 PM. Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: https://brianasaussy.com/how-to-honor-the-full-moon/ and here: https://brianasaussy.com/six-months-of-magic-every-full-moon/
Ask: What is my relationship to balance?

4/7: Mars square Uranus. This is one of the most dangerous aspects of astrology because it can often bring in unexpected accidents. Be extra cautious on this day, do not be in a rush, exercise safety especially around fire. As long as you do that, the energy can work to supercharge one of your most brilliant insights!
Ask: Where can I take more care?

4/11: Mercury moves into Aries. Communication becomes fast, brisk, and smart during Mercury’s move through Aries. Just make sure that you do not get overly aggressive in your conversations.
Ask: What truth am I ready to share?

4/12: Happy EASTER!!!!

4/14: Waning Quarter Moon at 25 degrees Capricorn, 5:56 PM. A reminder that this is a great time to banish: https://brianasaussy.com/what-are-you-really-banishing/
Ask: What can I stop pretending to be/do?

4/14: Sun squares Pluto. This is a tricky aspect that can have all of us diving into a bit of an existential moment as the shadow side of our personal psyches, as well as the shadow side of bigger powers (like entire countries or global economies), are lit by the sun and in plain view of all. Be kind to everyone, including yourself.
Ask: What shadow do I see right now?

4/15: Sun square Jupiter. When the Sun squares Jupiter it is the proverbial our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. The dream or vision that you have right now could use a big dose of rational clarity. If you don’t actively seek that out, on this day it will come and find you.
Ask: What practicalities am I forgetting when it comes to my big project?

4/19:  Sun enters Taurus 9:45 AM
Ask: What foundations am I ready to lay down?

4/21: Sun square Saturn. This creates a sense of fear, challenge, and sometimes the feeling that you have absolutely no time. Expect delays and wonky behavior from others and you will be in good shape.
Ask: What calming rites can I engage in when I feel too rushed?

4/22: New Moon at 3 degrees Taurus, 9:26 PM – Earth Day. Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them: https://brianasaussy.com/4-ways-honor-new-moon/
Ask: What financial seeds am I ready to sow?

4/25: Pluto Retrograde. Retrograde begins at 1:54 PM and stations direct on October 4th at 8:32 AM.
Ask: What aspects of my personal power need to be refined?

4/26: Sun conjunct Uranus. Bring on the freedom, vision of the future and really smart ideas! This is a great day for all of the above. Take the party outside for maximum pleasure. One caveat,  you may encounter people and situations that push against your comfort zone – on this day you can choose to stretch out and explore IF you want to.
Ask: Where am I no longer willing to feel stuck?

4/28: Mercury square Saturn. This is a hard day for communications and things that you need or want to say are likely to come out all wrong. Give yourself a break and consider all of the ways you can nonverbally communicate.
Ask: What can I wait to say?

4/30: Waxing Quarter at 10 degrees Leo, 3:38 PM. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: What does the right relationship to luxury look and feel like?

4/30: Mercury conjunct Uranus. NOW you can talk! This is a once a year, brilliant convergence that can reveal all kinds of profound ideas and connections to you.
Ask: What connections need to be made now? April April 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

How to Work With a Planet As It Changes Signs

Learning and Community

M

iracles, changes 

When a planet changes signs it is *always* an opportunity to create and participate in deep magic. The planets of our solar system each hold world making/ world destroying energy and it is not coincidental that they were named for some of the greatest Gods in our classical lineage.

It is easy to lose sight of this in the day to day grind of things and also in the irreverent trivializing that many of these Gods have experienced throughout time. Nevertheless, that GIANT energy is still there.

In old school Astrology as in old school magic (coming mainly out of a European with some Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences), the planets, like all Holy Helpers were to be controlled and mastered and made do one’s bidding.

Which hopefully by now we can all agree is beyond ludicrous.

In other, older systems the understanding is different. It is one of relationship, RIGHT relationship, and alignment. And every celestial event is an opportunity to LEARN something about not only ourselves but the greater world and to TRANSFORM an aspect of our lives and also how we show up in the world. (Because THAT is also the best and most direct route to transforming the world itself, yes?)

Now the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Sun, and Moon – which are considered planets in most star stories world over) are fast-moving and change signs very quickly.

The understanding here is that in many ways we too change quickly and these planets are excellent to become friends with and get to know when we are in need of SWIFT intervention/aid/transformation.

The outer planets do not move so fast. Jupiter stays in a single sign for about a year. Saturn stays in a sign for over 2 years. The outer planets are understood as cosmic forces that do their work SLOWLY and THOROUGHLY. They prefer long-term commitments and relationships where we show up consistently. And as we know, showing upstarts with PAYING ATTENTION.

So…I am telling you now that Saturn is going to change signs this month.

On March 21st it moves from Capricorn – where it has been hanging out for over 2 years, to Aquarius. This first move is akin to dipping our toes into the pool. Saturn will retrograde out of Aquarius in the Summer and then return for good to this sign in the Winter of 2020.

I am telling you because I would very much like you to think about Saturn and think about Aquarius BEFORE you read a bunch of things that tell you what to think.

This is because, as always the best medicine and magic comes from WITHIN and you will have associations and ideas for this event and its meaning for you personally that NO ONE else will.

My recommendation is to take your journal and jot down your associations in a first thought/right thought kind of way. I often do this with my students and clients, I’ll tell them: “I say Saturn, you say:” And then write whatever comes to mind. Even if what comes to mind is: I don’t freaking know anything about Saturn! That too is fine and can be worked with.

You can then use these notes as a jumping off point for writing a petition or voicing specific magical desires BUT, and more importantly, these notes start to outline what a relationship with these Holy Helpers can be and look like. They give you a starting place.

But before that, we will talk more about the Holy Helpers that are Saturn and Aquarius.

xo,
Bri   changes changes changes 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Star Stories: March 2020

Ceremony and Ritual

A

strology for March 2020

Note for March: Happy March! This month starts with a pretty watery feel as Mercury continues its retrograde through Pisces and then Aquarius. Any last sleepiness from the past few months will be felt the first week and change of March. Once that period has passed the fiery, renewing, the energy of Aries takes center stage and we all feel energized and ready to dive headfirst into Spring madness!

3/1: Rabbit, Rabbit!!! Happy March!

3/2: Waxing Quarter at 12 degrees Gemini, 1:57 PM. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: What message is growing within me?

3/3: Venus moves into a square with Saturn and this could strengthen tensions we already feel with the Mercury RX madness.
Ask: Where can I exercise just a little more kindness right now? Pro tip: If your romantic relationships are feeling particularly roughened up by the astro, try a honey jar!

3/4: Mercury Retrogrades out of Pisces and into Aquarius where it spends the remainder of the RX period. Mercury RX in Aquarius is more measured than the Pisces trip was, and you may find your thinking starts to clarify somewhat.
Ask: Where do I need to review ideas about the future?

3/4: Venus moves into Taurus. Venus loooves to be in Taurus. The next month is a strengthening time for relationships and love generally speaking. Prioritize beauty!
Ask: Where do I need more beauty in my life?

3/8: Venus conjunct Uranus. Expect surprises especially when it comes to love and money on this day.
Ask: What relationship needs to be stirred up?

3/8: Daylight Savings Time begins at 1:00am cdt. Spring Forward!

3/8: Sun conjunct Neptune. Expect dreamy, sweet, loving connections today and possibly a brilliant new creative idea arriving at your door. This is also a day where magical dream tending is always advised and one where it pays to watch your wallet and spending.
Ask: Where do my depths need illumination?

3/9: Full Moon at 19 degrees Virgo, 12:48 PM. Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: https://brianasaussy.com/how-to-honor-the-full-moon/ and here: https://brianasaussy.com/six-months-of-magic-every-full-moon/
Ask: What is my relationship to sovereignty?

3/9: Mercury Retrograde ENDS!!!

3/16: Waning Quarter at 26 degrees Sagittarius, 4:34 AM. Reminder that this is a great time to banish: https://brianasaussy.com/what-are-you-really-banishing/
Ask: Where does my aim need to be improved?

3/16: Mercury moves back into Pisces – but direct this time. Mercury in Pisces brings great discoveries when it comes to art, music, and creativity but can encourage fuzzy thinking around love and money.
Ask: What creative work wants to be heard now?

3/19: Sun enters Aries (Spring Equinox) 10:50 PM — Spring Equinox
Ask: What is ready to be balanced?

3/20: Mars conjunct Jupiter. This is the astrological equivalent of rocket fuel for your dreams! It has the ability to live and elevate you in the most amazing ways and to give you the energy to carry your big vision to its conclusion.
Ask: What audacious endeavor am I ready to tackle?

3/21: Saturn moves into Aquarius, giving us relief from all the Capricorn drama and turning our attention to the future.
Ask: What kind of future do I want to build?

3/22: Mars conjunct Pluto. This is a tricky conjunction that brings power – our quest for it and our experience of it – into contact with aggression and even violence. At its best this conjunction leads to a deepening of personal power paired with martial discipline. At its worst, it can bring out violent tendencies.
Ask: Where would my relationship to power be improved through greater discipline?

3/24: New Moon at 4 degrees Aries, 4:28 AM. Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them: https://brianasaussy.com/4-ways-honor-new-moon/
Ask: What new adventure is calling me?

3/27: Venus and Jupiter trine – this is a wonderful astrology to make your dreams and visions come true. Venus and Jupiter are two of the most powerful positive celestial influences. When they come together all manner of good things are positive.
Ask: What blessings am I ready to accept?

3/30: Mars moves into Aquarius. Mars in Aquarius gets things moving and typically leads to more protests and activism on a global level. This is powerful astrology for optimizing our future.
Ask: What vision of the future am I willing to fight for?

3/31: Saturn conjunct Mars. All efforts to optimize, overpower or charge through obstacles meet with a wall on this day. A better bet is to coolly strategize your next move and resist enacting it until after this conjunction is over.
Ask: Where do I need more strategy and less tactics?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Star Stories: February 2020

Ceremony and Ritual

A

strology for February 2020

Note for February: Hola Miracles! Sooo…February! We have Valentine’s Day, three planets that change signs this month and…the first Mercury Retrograde of 2020! I have a bunch of articles on Mercury RX in Pisces that will help give you the lay of the land and a feeling of what to expect. The fact that Mars moves into Capricorn on the same day that Mercury goes retrograde means that we have serious organization energy behind us so make like Marie Kondo and get to cleaning up. If you want to add some magic to your cleaning/re-org regimes this article will help.

2/1: Happy and Blessed February and Imbolg/Candlemass for those who celebrate: https://brianasaussy.com/blessed-imbolg-and-happy-candlemas/

2/1: February kicks off with a square between the Aquarius Sun and Taurus Moon.
Ask: How can I bring more freedom to a place I currently feel stuck in?

2/1: Waxing Quarter at 12 degrees Taurus, 7:42 PM. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: What pleasure am I ready to meet?

2/3: Mercury moves into Pisces. Clarity around dreams, art-making, and spirituality abounds but watch out for overly emotional outbursts!
Ask: What are my feelings trying to tell me?

2/7: Venus moves into Aries. This positioning can bring out the selfish and greedy aspects in all of us. Boundaries around giving and taking will be brought to your attention during this transit.
Ask: Where do I need to give more and where do I need to take more?

2/9: Full Moon at 20 degrees Leo, 1:33 AM. Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: https://brianasaussy.com/how-to-honor-the-full-moon/ and here: https://brianasaussy.com/six-months-of-magic-every-full-moon/
Ask: What is my relationship with courage?

2/14: Happy Valentine’s Day! (Given the upcoming Mercury RX in Pisces on 2/16, I recommend that you keep Vday spending at a moderate level and hold off on big announcement or plans or, ahem, proposals, until AFTER the RX period is over).

2/15: Waning Quarter Moon at 26 degrees Scorpio, 4:17 PM. Reminder that this is a great time to banish: https://brianasaussy.com/what-are-you-really-banishing/
Ask: What inherited stories are I ready to acknowledge?

2/16: Mercury Retrograde begins! February 16th – March 9, 2020: Retrograde starts at 6:54 PM in Pisces, moves into Aquarius on March 3rd and stations direct on March 9th at 10:49 PM. For more on Mercury Retrogrades, check out this post.
Ask: What spiritual practices are ready to be reviewed?

2/16: Mars moves into Capricorn. Get ready to start a major project, get yourself organized, and find the structures that work best for you.
Ask: What am I ready to overhaul and optimize?

2/18: Sun enters Pisces 10:57 PM
Ask: What dream am I ready to follow?

2/21: Mars in Capricorn trines Uranus in Taurus. Anytime Mars and Uranus come together I advise caution and that goes extra during the Mercury RX period – make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to appointments and avoid needlessly dangerous situations. This trine gives us a ton of physical energy so working out or starting a new fitness regime on this day is a big YES.
Ask: Where am I ready to move mountains?

2/23: New Moon at 4 degrees Pisces, 9:32 AM. Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them: https://brianasaussy.com/4-ways-honor-new-moon/
Ask: What new prayer or blessing am I ready to commit to?

2/25: Sun conjunct Mercury (retrograde) in Pisces. Happy Mardi Gras – this is great astro to get carried away, awesome for partying but exercise moderation or you’ll regret it in the AM!
Ask: What emotions are ready to be highlighted?

2/28: Venus and Pluto square up today. Power trips, most especially in relationships and romance, are to be expected. At best this astro roots you in your sovereignty. At worst, it allows you to become an expert manipulator of emotions – or the victim of the same.
Ask: Where do I locate the power in my most intimate relationship?

2/29: Happy Leap Year!!! Lots of reversal magic is possible on this day!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Star Stories: January 2020

Ceremony and Ritual

A

strology for January 2020

Note for January: Hola Miracles! Just a quick note to give you the lay of the land in January. This month is going to feel pulled between the element of Earth and Water, it is old, deep, and Goddess-centered energy in many ways. This month kicks off with FIVE planets in the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn. The Capricorn energy is highlighted during the Pluto + Saturn conjunction on January 12th. This conjunction is very significant and I am hosting a free class where we will discuss it. Learn more + get the call-in details here. Water energy is brought in by the Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse in Cancer and also by the movement of Venus into Pisces where it grows closer and closer to dreamy Neptune right up until the 27th when they finally meet.

1/1: Happy and Blessed New Year my friends! I love doing this Seed Money Ritual anytime but especially as we usher in a brand new year! https://brianasaussy.com/seed-money-ritual/

1/2: Mercury and Jupiter get together to keep things happy, bright, and positive.
Ask: What messages of cheer am I ready to send and receive?

1/2: Waxing Quarter at 12 degrees Aries 8:45 pm. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: What fire wants to be kindled?

1/3: Mars moves into Sagittarius today and as it does we all feel more confident, capable, and ready to tackle even the toughest resolutions.
Ask: Where do I need to be bold?

1/10: Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse at 20 degrees Cancer 1:21 pm. Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: https://brianasaussy.com/how-to-honor-the-full-moon/ and here: https://brianasaussy.com/six-months-of-magic-every-full-moon/
Ask: What are my dreams telling me?

1/10: Uranus direct!
Ask: What did I learn about my future?

1/12: Pluto conjunct Saturn. This is a conjunction that occurs only every 34 years. It kicks off 2020 with an intense pairing. Saturn, the stern taskmaster encounters power player Pluto and this can impact us in a couple of different ways. On the one hand, we can be shadowy and sketchy about our pursuit of power, skirting the law and taking the easy way out in order to gain or keep the upper hand. On the other hand, this duo can inspire unparalleled discipline and potency that you can bring to your New Year’s Resolutions and any other area of life where you need it! You can also join me in some more Pluto/Saturn magic-making (including a free call) right here.
Ask: Where do I need to super-charge my discipline?

1/13: Venus moves into Pisces and has us all feeling more tender.
Ask: What is my relationship to compassion?

1/13: Neptune and Jupiter face off in a square today and it is the first of three such squares occurring this year. This is a high fantasy alert and may bring about warnings if you are involved in projects that are unrealistic or overly optimistic. On the other hand, you can work with the tension of this square to breathe practicality into your arts and dreams.
Ask: Where am I being too optimistic or unrealistic?

1/16: Mercury moves into Aquarius and things start to rock and roll because these two swift energies love to chat, think, and move!
Ask: What. brilliance. am I ready to share?

1/17: Waning Quarter at 26 degrees Libra, 6:58 AM. Reminder that this is a great time to banish: https://brianasaussy.com/what-are-you-really-banishing/
Ask: Where do I need to banish dependency?

1/20: Sun enters Aquarius 8:55 AM
Ask: What community am I ready to cultivate?

1/20: Sun enters Aquarius 3:04 AM
Ask: What community am I ready to cultivate?

1/23: Sun in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus brings restless energy that can also leave you feeling thwarted. Try this: ground yourself in something outside of your comfort zone.
Ask: Where am I ready to experiment?

1/24: New Moon at 4 degrees, Aquarius 3:42 PM. Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them: https://brianasaussy.com/4-ways-honor-new-moon/
Ask: What message am I ready to broadcast?

1/25: Lunar and Chinese New Year celebrating the Year of the Rat! Rat is the first sign in the Chinese zodiac and like rats, in real life, those born under this sign are seen as intelligent, funny, flexible, adaptable, and full of energy!

1/27: Neptune conjunct Venus in Pisces. Cue the waterworks or, alternatively, heartfelt connections, do NOT go spend a bunch of money or engage in essence-sucking fantasies that go nowhere. Great time for water/heart/love magics.
Ask: What emotional depths am I ready to explore?

1/28: Neptune square Mars is a day of low energy. Do relaxing/restorative exercises and steer clear of all kinds of excess.
Ask: What would be the best self-care for me today?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Star Stories: December 2019

Ceremony and Ritual

Star Magic Astro Dates

12/2: December 2, 2019 – December 19th 2020: Jupiter encourages a solid foundation as it moves through Capricorn.
Ask: What hard work am I willing to engage in and what rewards would I like to see as a result?

12/3: Venus and Mars are in a nice sextile today and I emphasize the SEX because this is an alignment that can see deep love and hot sex coming together in the best possible way.
Ask: Who do I want and who wants me?

12/3: Waxing Quarter at 11 degrees Pisces, 12:58 PM – this is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice! https://brianasaussy.com/teaching/20-question-tarot/
Ask: What does right relationship with my intuition look and feel like?

12/8: Sun and Neptune square make today. perfect day for resting and self-care.
Ask: Where do I need to be gentle with myself?

12/9: Mercury enters into Sagittarius! Expect communications to be free-spirited, wild, a little bit more heady than normal and also sometimes a bit foolish.
Ask: What is the relationship between fun and discernment?

12/11: Full Moon at 19 degrees Gemini, 11:12 PM – Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: https://brianasaussy.com/how-to-honor-the-full-moon/ and here: https://brianasaussy.com/six-months-of-magic-every-full-moon/
Ask: What words matter most to me?

12/13: Mars and Neptune trine it up encourage us to fight for the underdog, to infuse discipline into our spiritual practices and pursuits and to go to bat for our art and creativity.
Ask: What belief am I willing to fight for?

12/13: Venus and Pluto pair up today in a move that can bring big power shifts to areas of love and money.
Ask: Where does the power dynamic need to change in my relationships?

12/15: Jupiter and Uranus are in a fantastic trine today making this one of the luckiest days of the year with blessings literally coming out of the blue. This does not happen again until 2028
Ask: What luck am I in need of right now?

12/18: Waning Quarter Moon at 26 degrees Virgo, 10:57 PM – reminder that this is a great time to banish: https://brianasaussy.com/what-are-you-really-banishing/
Ask: What categories do I need to drop?

12/19: Mars sextile Saturn is a moment of great focus, discipline, and the overcoming of crazy odds.
Ask: Where do I need a big push?

12/19: Venus moves into Aquarius today. This will feel awesome coming off of that square with Uranus. This is a great time to give love and attention to online friends, presence, and business – change up your profile pics, update your bios, make sure your LinkedIn account is all spiffy – you know the drill. Networking opportunities right now are a definite YES as are collaborations.
Ask: What groups, congregations, and associations are in need of love and support?

12/21: Sun enters Capricorn (Winter Solstice) 10:14 PM
Ask: What mastery do I seek?

12/22: Venus squares up to Uranus for the last time this year.
In this conflict we experience different desires – one for pleasure and plenty and the other for change and revolution.
Ask: What needs to change and what needs to stay the same?

12/23: Sun and Uranus trine up today bring our your inner genius and brainstorming brilliance.
Ask: What flashes of insight are calling my name?

12/25: New Moon at 4 degrees Capricorn, 11:13 PM + Annular Solar Eclipse all conjunct Jupiter – Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them: https://brianasaussy.com/4-ways-honor-new-moon/
Ask: What new work of the heart am I ready to begin?

12/26: Annular Solar Eclipse at 4 degrees Capricorn at 8:29p
Ask: What success am I afraid of pursuing and what would happen if I did it anyway?

12/28: Mercury moves into Capricorn today. This can be a time that marks a new level of seriousness in communications and those of you who write or communicate for a living can expect to have some professional opportunities arise during this time. It is also a time when it is easier than usual to be negative and pessimistic and also to get depressed. Turn that on its head by doing that popular thing you’ve read so much about: adulting.
Ask: What responsibilities do I need to attend to?

12/30: Uranus and Mercury in a brilliant trine today end the year on a positive and brilliant note.
Ask: What new technologies and/or communities am I ready to explore?

12/31: A sextile between Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Libra speaks to freedom, equality, justice, and adventure all coming together in the most lovely way possible.
Ask: How can I best bless myself?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol 19: You Don’t Have to Share

Foundations

H

e went to the church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed of any walk, that anything, could give him so much happiness.” From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol share

Lunching with two good friends last Spring, our conversation turned naturally to house and home. Spooning gobs of guacamole into Baby Heath’s happy and very large mouth, I bemoaned the fact that I was sure our house was too small for my two big strapping boys. They are both in the 99th percentile in each age bracket for height, weight, and head size. I mean, are we going to have to get a meat locker to meet their ‘feed-me-Seymour’ style appetites? But the thing was, I said, we really did not have a true third bedroom, so obviously we would need to move. Right?

Both of the women laughed and spoke in rapid Spanish that I couldn’t follow. This was, they explained, one of the American attitudes that were a particular puzzle to them, having grown up in Mexico. They could not understand why Americans were so determined to have every child in a home have their own room. It wasn’t because this attitude was privileged or spoiled or ridiculously luxurious that they took issue with it. They just thought that putting a child in his own room seemed so very lonely for the children.

They went on to tell me that in Mexico, even in grand and large houses, the children would naturally all come together in one room, sleep together, tell stories, sneak sweets – in short, do all of the things that children like to do. They would not dream of being isolated in their own rooms. After that lunch, I went home and a few days later my husband and I spoke to our eldest. We could, we said, look for a bigger house so that each boy would have their own room or we could stay put in this house and this neighborhood that we all loved, but Jasper would have to share his room. Jasper, in turn, looked at us with a mixture of incredulity and amusement that only an 8 year old can muster, rolled his eyes, and pronounced that OF COURSE, he was sharing a room with his brother, DUH. Considering the conversation over, he then went to his desk, got out his art supplies and replaced the “Jasper’s Room” sign on the door with a “Jasper and Heath’s Room” sign. David and I looked at each other, a little stunned it had been so easy and also thinking – Well, hell. Why didn’t we do that sooner?

Over the past week, three synchronicities have made me think about this story again and again. The first was a newsletter that contained an enthusiastic exhortation to soulful seekers to share with each other — their ideas, inspiration, favorite people and teachers, the best art and pieces of writing and magic making that stirred their souls. The author claimed (and had a good amount of evidence to back the claim) that online advertising was and always had been DOA and that as a result when we find someone or something that enlivens and inspires us then we have a responsibility to share that with others because that is really the only way we find each other on the internet any more. Sharing is how we make the web work.

The second moment was in an email with a friend who was distraught about a conversation she had had with a couple of her friends. They had wondered if she could marry them and she told them that she did not do wedding ceremonies. They were super disappointed and she felt horrible that she had to say no – bad to the point where she was thinking maybe she should do wedding ceremonies. I asked her if there was any part of her that was interested in doing wedding ceremonies, and she said: “absolutely not”. So then I asked her if she knew anyone who did wedding ceremonies. It turned out she knew three people! She went back to the couple and gave them the names. They were thrilled to have some leads and she was thrilled that she was able to support them after all.

The final situation centered around the shooting at Saugus High School in California two weeks ago. A few days after the shooting, I started receiving private messages and emails thanking me for a specific stream of posts I have shared on social media, hashtagged as #findthehelpers (these posts are about people and animals who help in one way or another). One of the reasons I left social media earlier in the year was because I grew so frustrated with the communal hand-wringing that seems to always happen when tragedy strikes, followed by (what feels to my sensitive soul at least) business as usual in the next few days. This latest tragedy was accompanied by the tragic chorus, but I was also hearing from people who told me that the things I had shared (mind you, I didn’t DO anything, I just SHARED some things) gave them hope when everything felt hopeless. One woman told me that the thread allowed her to overcome her anxiety enough to take a shower and wash her hair. A dad told me that after reading some of the posts in the thread he was able to get it together enough to talk to his son about school shootings. Someone else said that the posts reminded them that there really were good people in the world still and this knowledge allowed them to move through their depression enough to buy groceries and cook dinner. These may seem like extreme examples, but I saw the same theme repeated again and again. And they made me realize something. When I decided to return to social media, I knew I wanted to be a force of positivity and a voice for what is possible. I started looking for helpers – all kinds of helpers who are helping in all kinds of ways, even without really knowing why. When the latest school shooting happened, I understood why. It was because one of the things we are told after these all too common tragedies is that we need to “look for the helpers”. That’s what Fred Rogers advised. I realized I wanted to have a medicine cabinet for our community full of stories of helping so that when the tragedy strikes, we have a place where we can find the stories that might just give us enough juice to make it to the shower or to work, or to the grocery store, or to school. This whole story is to illustrate what the power of sharing can really do. It can restore our hope and keep us tender, both of which are probably the hardest things to come by nowadays.

As we enter into the holiday season we will be told, cajoled, and commanded in every possible tone and tune to “share”. In both of these cases, the idea of sharing loses something, loses a lot. It becomes flat. It’s a have-to, not a want-to – a duty, an obligation, a responsibility. Buy the presents, get them wrapped, give money to the Santa with the bell on the curb because I’m a good person and that’s what good people do. I think that kind of sharing sucks. I actually think that kind of sharing is a travesty against real sharing and discourages it more than anything else. So I am going to say: if that’s how you share then maybe you should just give yourself permission to stop and not share anymore! True story: you don’t have to share.

But…if you are interested in pleasure, dare I say hedonism, then you probably want to share, like a lot. Share what you love, what brings color and depth, scope and breadth to your life. It is the most pleasurable activity because everyone benefits – the person who shares and those who receive the sharing. Like prayer, sharing can be done in a million different ways and like magic, our lives are not quite complete without the pure pleasure of sharing what matters most.

I know this was supposed to be a Hearth and Home so here is a quick check-in: Jasper dressed up as the Phantom of the Opera for Halloween and played the piano in front of his entire school. Heath was a baby dragon and those of you who have met him in person know that this was perfect. Dia de Los Muertos in town and at home was beautiful, quiet, still, and powerful. Making Magic is still going strong and I’m about to celebrate its 6 month birthday (if you loved it, please share that!). David and I just completed the Whole30 which is a whole newsletter in itself and we are feeling pretty strong and sassy. You too can #findthehelpers and see all of the ways that #magichappens on my Facebook feed. Star Stories is officially wrapped and soon will be sent to their owners (each one has to get a final proofread) and then I am diving into the next book.
Oh, and another book I contributed to, The Karma of Cats, is out and has a trailer featuring me reading part of the essay I wrote – so I am sharing that (a fitting ending to this letter) and wishing you all a blessed week!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.