Super Moon Mania II

Photo from Wiki Commons

I was afraid I’d missed the Super moon tonight. I couldn’t imagine how I could have since I love the moon so much. I was all over last year’s Super moon like white on rice. I posted about it then too. (wordpress.com/2012/05/05/super-moon-mania-2) ) I was pissed at myself for letting other things distract me from watching it rise tonight.

Anyway, I took off my pajamas, put my clothes back on and ran outside. None of my neighbors were out walking the dogs so it was very quiet.  It was 9:30, 81 degrees and the air was perfectly still. There it was, the moon, shining gloriously. Small veils of clouds drifted past it but I could still make out the details of it. I stood on the sidewalk for a good long while staring up at its largeness and beauty. The wonder of the moon makes me feel connected to the essence of nature like very few other things can. Thanks Super moon!

By The Way

Holiday food. Yum!
Holiday food. Yum!

I didn’t want the month to end without adding to the recipe page, so please head on over to Heaven’s Menu for my seasonal selections of Mince Meat Balls and Pumpkin Mousse. I hope you can use and enjoy them.

Full Moon over Virginia
Full Moon over Virginia

If you’ve read this blog in the past you know I have what I call “moon mania”. Did you see the full moon the other night? As usual, it was both breathtaking and beautiful. (It helped a lot in my reflection on the nature of life as I processed my stepdad’s passing.) It was an unusual full moon in that it was the smallest full moon of the year and Jupiter could be seen just to the left of it. (Star of wonder!) There are some beautiful pictures of it at earthsky.org. Here is the link: http://earthsky.org/space/photos-from-friends-jupiter-and-moon-awesome-in-late-november-2012

I’m off to Boston for the funeral. I hope your weekend is one with peace and love.

Summer’s Loose Ends

So Long Summer

Tomorrow is an uber-symbolic end of summer. It’s September 1st and the start of the Labor Day weekend. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking ahead with excitement and/or anxiety to the fall. Before I start writing about what the southern autumn is like for me, there are a few things I feel the need to mention.

Hey, movingmuse.wordpress.com, I do love it here in Virginia and yes it is warmer than Boston! Urbanwallart.wordpress.com, see you in Williamsburg!

I’ve added my Twitter address to the sidebar. I’ve held out until now because I felt safe to unleash my meaner side there. Now I see that I wasn’t all that mean and more importantly, I’m a whole person whatever and wherever I write. (Thank you Anne et al for the insight.) I feel all right with myself as I am so I don’t need to hide an aspect of my personality. I’m mindful that feeling all right is a blessing as well. So, on Twitter I was Snarkyhere but now I’m SnarkyNoMo.

Lastly, I had the wonderful fortune to see the rising of tonight’s “Blue Moon”. (If you’ve read this blog before you know that I consider myself a moon maniac.) My friend the moon was stunning tonight.Of course the moon itself wasn’t blue. It was a deep cream-colored orb against a dusky blue sky. As it was explained in today’s LA Times,

A blue moon doesn’t mean the moon will actually change color–it’s the rare occurrence of two full moons occurring in the same calendar month. (The first full moon in August happened on Aug. 1.)

Next month’s full moon on September 30th will be the “Harvest Moon” and it doesn’t get more autumnal than that.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. Throw a little something on the grill for me.

Super Moon Mania

Super moon maniaI’m so excited about tonight’s full moon. If you read this blog regularly you know that I have what I call “moon mania”. (I’m a moon maniac?) And as you’ve probably heard, this month’s full moon occurs on the perigee side which makes it a super moon! At the bottom of this post is a link to a great article on NASA’s website about it. Anyway, I’ve got my seat and snacks picked out for the viewing. (Who am I kidding, I’d have snacks moon or no moon.) I’ll be there from 7:30pm on to take advantage of the unusual sight.

There’s something special about the moon for me (Please see my other moon posts). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m a nature lover exactly. I don’t have an affinity for tree hugging, although a hike in the wood would go a long way in trimming off the snacks. No, it’s that I’m a wonder lover. It’s the wonder of the moon that affects me. It makes me mindful and sometimes it’s a struggle for me to be mindful. The moon makes me mindful that we live on a big ball made of elements that are hot and cold and wet and dry and hard and soft. It makes me mindful that the ball that we call our planet shifts and rotates. And that it is moving around with other planets in a largeness and a vastness that I can’t begin to imagine. It makes for a mindful perspective.

So, I hope you’ll join me tonight in mindful meditation on the wonderful moon. Let’s sit in gratitude snacking on Milky Ways and Moon Pies.

(http://science.nasa.gov/sciencenews/scienceatnasa/2012/02may_supermoon)

In the Dead of Winter

I mentioned in my previous post that I have persistent thoughts of death in the winter. I don’t mind because I think it’s natural. Historically winter has universally been interpreted as the dead time of the year.

Every year I contemplate the lack of plant life and the hibernation of animals at this time, but more than that I think about human death. I tend to focus on loved ones who have passed on and re-mourn their loss. I would say that my definition of ghosts is the occurrence of re-experiencing someone or something that is gone so as to feel as though they are still present and further to feel the absence as a presence itself. To me ghosts are our own feelings. That’s why I think those ghost hunting shows are hilarious. Why hunt our own feelings? (Although a lot of us spend time doing it in therapy). And as an aside, how would the dead, who have moved on to a totally new reality, spend time here. Can you or I go back in time?

Anyway, I think about that every time I look at pictures or movies of people who are gone. I know they are gone yet it feels to me; it registers on my emotional scale as though they are still here. I couldn’t watch any of my favorite old movies if I viewed the actors as a bunch of corpses or ghosts. I was thinking about it today while I was listening to one of my favorite Curtis Mayfield songs. I could hear him inhale in the recording and yet he was not inhaling. The time of the recordings are “ghosts” themselves. That particular time of that song being sung that particular way is gone yet I am experiencing it now. Just as the plant life and animal life appear to be gone at this time of year yet we experience them anew but what feels like again in the spring, are we humans ever really gone as long as someone can re-experience us in some way? Ghosts, ghost images, ghost songs, ghost feelings. .. Ahh, but spring is less than a month away (March 20th).  The full snow moon is behind us and sunsets happen later now. As always, the added light prompts in me thoughts of new life. I hope it does in you as well.

Thoughts On The Season

This is the first post that is difficult for me to write. Before I started this blog I carefully considered why I’d be doing it. I took all the time I needed to define the aim and the message. (Please see About This Blog) I went through a long period of questioning whether I was ready to expose myself. This included testing the waters by creating another blog about which I told no one and I even used another personae for authorship. Finally I felt confident enough in my voice and writing skills to go public with what I had to say. Even after all that it took a year of planning and collecting material before I felt ready to launch.  I never intended for this to be an “off the cuff” blog ala Twitter. I edit my pieces a couple of times before I actually post them. I committed to myself to write at least one post a month so as not to put too much pressure on myself, which I knew would be self-sabotage. I thought I had covered all the bases.

So what happened this month? A close family member went through a frightening medical event.  It threw me off my game mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I’ve gone through similar experiences with others and I know that I’ll process through it all and regain my balance. But I couldn’t figure out how this blog fit in with that process since I hadn’t planned for it. This is where I confess that I’m a planner. And by planner, I mean control freak. Doesn’t exactly jive with the Yoga/Buddhism leaning, does it? And that’s the point of what I learned about making time for this blog during rough periods. Although I doubt I’ll ever write a “stream of consciousness” post, I think they can be edited but not guarded. They can be organic if not spontaneous. They can be  “in the now” if not “in the minute”.  So this is not the post I had meant for this month but it’s the one that happened. If I get a chance I’ll type the “Easter” piece I had planned. (Hahahaha).

And now back to the business at hand. Last month I talked about Easter and the moon. Tomorrow is Easter of course and it’s late this year.  Easter is a “moveable feast” holiday which means it doesn’t fall on a fixed date on the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar follows the sun cycle. Moveable feast holidays follow a lunisolar calendar similar to Jewish holidays. So this year the Christian Holy Week and the Jewish Passover coincide as they often do. I prefer it when it happens because it reminds me that we beings are all connected in the world, whether I like it or not. That connectedness is important for me to think about at this time when the emphasis is on forgiveness and salvation. I reflect on how I treat others and how I want to be treated. But I also reflect on how I respond to how I’m treated by others because that’s the tricky one for me.  When I perceive that I have been insulted or aggrieved will I turn the other cheek?  As I’ve talked about before, I’m still working on “the bow”.

Speaking of reflection, tomorrow, Easter is the beginning of the last quarter moon phase. The waning moon is a perfect time for reflection and meditation before the renewal of the new moon and new projects.

I’m giving my best wishes of the season to all of you who celebrate Passover and Easter.

Moon Mania II

I guess I’ve been thinking about the moon because at this time of year it’s “going and coming” is so important to how we human beings mark cycles. (Maybe that’s why it seems so natural to me to factor the moon into my personal cycles.) For instance, Easter is next month. Do you know how the date of Easter is determined?  Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date for that year. In June 325 C.E. astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates. From 326 C.E., the PFM has always been the EFM date after March 20th (the vernal equinox date in 325 C.E.)

Today is the waxing gibbous moon. As I mentioned in my previous post, the best time to clean is right after the new moon but anytime during the waxing phases is good. Now, we could argue all day long about the need for clean. But to paraphrase character Marie Barone of the old “Everybody Loves Raymond” TV show who was speaking about those how argue against cleaning; you know who says that, people who don’t like to clean. And so you’re just going to have to give me that cleaning is good and I’m going to give you some great (organic/natural) cleaning recipes, applicable only if you’re the one responsible for cleaning where you live. Don’t blame me, blame Marie Barone and please go to the Recipe page.

Today is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. I remember the March I was introduced to Irish soda bread. I’ve put the story and the recipe on the Recipe page.

Spring starts this coming Sunday, March 20th . Although the moon doesn’t determine the seasons, the sun does, it’s worth noting that this month’s full moon is on Saturday. Spring equinox marks the first day of the spring season and the beginning of a long period of sunlight at the North Pole. In the northern hemisphere, usually March 20th, the sun crosses the equator moving northward. March 20th seems to be a circled on the moon and the sun’s calendars!  And spring is like that, isn’t it. The factors that were dormant or distant last month are acting on us at a fever pitch now. I can see it where I live. The crocuses are coming up and today marks the start of 12 hours of sunlight in my area. And oh, that moon. Is there anything more beautiful than a spring moon after a long day of sun? What a blessing! And that’s why I have moon mania.

Moon Mania

Full Moon Over the Carribean

So it’s March already. Every month I experience what I call “moon mania”. It happens between the new moon and the 1st quarter. I’m writing about it now because last Friday was the new moon and currently the moon is in the waxing crescent phase. The 1st quarter is next Saturday.  (I’d like to view the moon right now just for it’s beauty but there’s a rainstorm going on here.) I don’t mean I howl at the moon or anything like that but during this period I feel compelled to clean, write, create, plan and organize. Unfortunately I ‘m also compelled to do them all simultaneously. (Obviously doing nothing particularly well.) Now some who know me might tell you it’s just plain mania, others might tell you I need to tweak my meds. But for the purposes of this blog, let’s go with moon mania. Wow, do I have a busy week coming!

Seriously, I first read about the moon phases when I was doing research on hair growth. (Oh, there will be a post about hair in the future!) While doing that research I found out all kinds of things about the effects of the moon and its phases. The idea that the moon affects living things, including people, organically wasn’t a stretch for me. We know our bodies are effected by the sun, why not the moon as well? The information also helped explain why there are certain cyclical patterns in the rhythm of life.  It feels good to acknowledge the wonder in all that makes up the energy of the One and that includes the moon and us.  And remember, if you have to clean or plan anything, do it right after the new moon!

For more of a discussion on the moon and its effects go to: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-the-moon-rules-your-life

Also the Farmer’s Almanac website has a very good moon phase calendar: http://www.almanac.com/moon/calendar