Altars | New moon/full moon, stepping up & commitment

For the past two moons – the Aries new moon last month, and this week’s full moon in Scorpio, Em and I created a shared altar. We are both deep in the process of exploring what it means to ‘step up’, to step out of comfort zones, to craft and commit to a vision, to let ourselves be seen, to risk failure and work towards goals with vulnerability and passion.

The first altar, on the Aries new moon, was a splurge of everything that felt currently related to these themes. It was colourful, it felt loud, full. This was interesting, because after two weeks of passing these bold symbols and statements, we both felt that much had been integrated, and were ready to focus in on more specific topics that emerged. On the full moon in Scorpio last Monday night, we talked as we removed each item from the altar. How much internal change can take place in two weeks! How much the sands of our internal landscapes can shift, burying what once felt urgent, revealing what was lost long ago. We then made a second shared altar – this one far quieter, more pared down, more focused – to honour and carry forward the developing conversation.

I am really enjoying sharing this previously very personal practice with my partner. 

Altar 1: New moon in Aries, courage, stepping up & commitment

Aquarius says: “You are a visionary. Your vision can change the world. You have something to offer. You are valuable. You are needed. You are worthy.” Tough statements to receive and integrate in a healthy way. My Aquarius sun is in continuous battle with my Capricorn moon. The vision, and the graft. The air, and the earth. I struggle to find the magic between these two very opposite-feeling energies. Like the Charioteer, I want to get them pulling me in the same direction.

This dragon, Imelda, came to me in a guided visualisation. She nonchalantly asked if ‘we could hang out long term’, and she’s been with me since. A reminder of my courage. A reminder that the things, the people we admire – are not afraid to be themselves. Fly. Roar. And sometimes breath fire.

Borage for courage. I planted these seeds while I was still so afraid. Now they’re coming up big and strong all over the back yard. I think of all the ways I hide from showing up, all the ways I think ‘I’m not enough, I’m not good enough, I’m not strong enough’. If I don’t show up and try, I will never find out if that is really true. And I am brave enough to try.

Ten of Pentacles. From Cristy Road’s book:

The 10 of Pentacles defines wealth and success by her personal power, the community that holds her, and her endless desire to achieve greatness. The 10 of Pentacles is the culmination of your work, and a redefinition of success. She asks you to grapple with the ownership of yourself and fully experience joy in times of abundance. She asks you to share your gifts and redistribute power in times of scarcity.

The 10 of Pentacles “is your higher self paving space for prosperity, designed by your own terms”. A redefinition of success. A proud and confident balancing act. Making space for prosperity and abundance, within a context of privilege and unequal distribution. I love this. (Also: This card came to me in a one-card reading from Abbie, with a note about stepping up, and legacy. I note the ways I eschewed this message the moment I read it, yet returned to it over and over. There is something for me here – placing this on my altar encourages me to explore.)

Money. Em is building a new business. I am finding new shapes and structures for my existing work. We are both focused on ensuring our businesses bring nourishment and are sustainable – it is not possible in our current society to experience this without money. It felt bold, almost audacious, to place money on the altar, to say ‘I want this, I am open to this’. Over time, it felt less audacious and more matter of fact.

Altar 2: Full moon in Scorpio, learning lateral, ethical leadership

The Grandmother of Wands, my inspiration and guide. Grappling with so much fear around leadership, she led a recent tarot reading, showing me that it is possible to lead from within. To be part of a community, and also to hold space for that community to exist, through listening, through accountability.

The red candle is a guiding light. Leading me onwards, til I am ready to take hold and carry it.

Aquarius, caught between individual and collective consciousness, reminds me that this dichotomy, this theme, this fusing of apparently opposite energies. I believe that Aquarius, my sun sign, can guide me towards radical, lateral leadership models. I am committed to exploring this.

“Leadership is a wonderful word” – Mary Clear. Mary is a community activist, a wise woman, and one of my greatest personal heroes. This is a statement she made to me well over a decade ago, one which I’ve dug out and toyed with many times over the years. Now I know why she gave it to me, and am ready to own it.

Rose quartz. Because I want to do all of this from a place of love and compassion.

Items shown include cards from the Next World Tarot by Cristy C Road, the Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi Prince, ‘experimental feminine’ postcard by Jennifer Armbrust.