There is deep wisdom in those words that form the Epitaph of Seikolos, the oldest complete surviving musical composition in the world. I find that they carry a needed medicine for many of us who have been too long with, and too deep in, our grief.
To feel our grief, our rage, our moments of out-of-our-mindedness, can be a good thing. Repressing feelings of grief or rage can create all kinds of problems for both your inner and outer lives.
Your fellow creatures and fellow people will not appreciate you numbing out the harder feelings…no one benefits from that. Same for putting on the too tight, trying too hard, clothes of toxic positivity. To always be happy and always be bright, to know nothing of shadow, and moreover to want to know nothing of shadow means that any brightness you are working with is a pale, weak, and insipid thing.
So no. Not always happy, always smiling, “positive vibes only” outlook, not here, not now, not for you.
But also no clinging too close to your grief song.
I know that it is the note that for many feels the most familiar. For sure it is the note that the broader culture would echo back to us over and over again, the note of the grief song which, when unaccompanied by other forms of music turns into the give-up song, the no-hope-left song, the turn-back-now song, perhaps most deadly of all, the why-even-bother song.
Your voice is not made to sing a single note or a single song. Your voice, like your life, was built for range.
Your voice was built for richness of expression…one song, no matter how resonant, doesn’t cut it. Stay on the same note long enough and you will lose your voice.
Stay in the same grief long enough and you will lose sight of the sweetness of life, the very thing that makes grief a possibility in the first place. There are fairy tales about exactly this so you know it’s true. That’s a poor way to honor grief, poor way to honor life.
So: New Moon, new possibility, new promise.
Make one to yourself.
Carry your grief song but carry it shoulder to shoulder with the many other songs that make up your life’s great symphony. Let your grief song not be the only song you sing, the only note you know how to land on. I promise it is made richer, more evocative, more powerful really, by your other songs: victory song, seductive Samba song, battle cry song, magical incantation song, hymn song, lullaby song, love song.
And if you have been singing your grief song for so long that you do not know how to stop then return to the Sacred Arts of cleansing and blessing.
By salt and water let your grief recede from the shoreline of your life like a low tide.
By air and fire let your grief be carried up and away like smoke in the branches of your soul’s forest.
And know too that you may need help to find other notes to shape, other songs to sing. You may need to speak to a healer who carries potions and prescriptions to help you remember your range.
You may have to make a hard choice to stop with the news and the media inputs that tell you the only song worth singing, the only song that can be heard is the grief song. You will definitely need to scrutinize the stories that you let into the secret chamber of your heart and the stories that you tell to others so that you refuse predatory tales at the door lest they pick your bones clean and leave no memory of sweetness on your tongue.
All of this is good work. All of this reminds us that to honor our grief song we must hold it, but lightly, and not alone. Otherwise, we miss out on the sweetness of living…and there is nothing left to grieve.
As we prepare for Solstice and the return of the Light, many of us may need to do some healing around our grief songs. Sagittarius is a fine energy to call upon for that work and once you have done the banishing and releasing pieces, please remember to seal and bless yourself.
The prompt for this New Moon is: What adventure am I ready to take?
December has so much going on Astrologically, it would probably be easier to ask, what is NOT happening? A few things to note: There is a Solar Eclipse on the 4th in Sagittarius, Jupiter makes a sign change into the sign of Pisces – the Celestial Fish – and will be there through May 10th 2022, we experience the FINAL of three squares with Saturn and Uranus, and we celebrate Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer Solstice in the Southern hemisphere! And we also have a Venus in Retrograde.
Casa de Saussy:
November is the month of Owls and Stars for us and only slightly less crazy than October. The weather is cooling off and so we have had a spate of outdoor fires and all agree that toasted campfire marshmallows are the finest desert. We have also been able to have some indoor fires in our heart…I know it sounds banal to some of you but its always a treat for us South Central Texas dwellers!
We go outside as the sun begins to set, David builds up the pyramid of wood in the fire pit, we sit and we listen to the dusk songs and usually we hear our Owl friend make his presence known. Occasionally if we are quite lucky, one of us might spy the night flight that takes place as the hunting begins.
We also celebrated the first symphony of the year! Jasper and his entire orchestra performed beautifully. It was wonderful to gather together and listen to our city’s youth make sweet music. Jasper especially feels the music – he likes romantic pieces that have lots of drama – and I always feel so privileged to watch him play, privileged that there are spaces where our youth can find their way into music and all of the beauty, inspiration, and healing that it makes possible.
Heath is discovering a love of drawing and rendering some pretty fantastic dinosaur pictures. Every spare inch of space is covered with little pages from his sketch pad as he is quite generous and gifts his drawings to whomever is around. He has been making noises about Christmas cookies so busting out the family recipe and updating it for my gluten
free crew is high up on the to do list.
David has been teaching a group of young artists classical drawing and he will be hosting a show for them at our local atelier later this month. His Shakuntala class is coming to an end, and there is about to be A LOT of excitement over at his not for profit endeavor, Symposium Great Books Institute so do make sure that you are subscribed to their mailing list!
What I’m Reading:
Sarah Bamford Seidelman’s Where the Deer Dream is just this amazing work for young adult readers, but really it is excellent for all readers. I’ll be doing a video on it soon!
The Inheritance of Orquídea Dvina by Zoraida Córdova is on my list and is Sister Song by Lucy Holland.
What I’m Teaching:
We are soon to emerge from the woods with the Baba Yaga in Spinning Gold and into the castle, ruined as it is with Beauty and the Beast where we will be exploring the natural power of Hope and the Sacred Art of Dreams and Divination.
We had a GREAT group call on divination in November and another fantastic AMA style call in October. December will see us gather together for our virtual Solstice AIM. You can join us too, right here!
We also concluded the second round of Story Threads and what a fabulous group of students I had for that course. Made Ancestor season all the sweeter, but not too sweet, right my loves?
Wishing you new possibilities and new songs!