What is Joy? What is Power?

I realized recently how little respect I give joy in my life. I feel it, sure, but I don’t think about it much. I haven’t given it the conscious attention it deserves. See, I have an instantaneous negative reaction to phrases like "Trust in the divine plan," or "Everything is unfolding as it should," because I think American society sustains its destructive bent via denial and repression. So I have taken up a lot of my life with the endeavor of pointing out the things that this society does not want to look at, feel, or think about. It's a good mission, but it has led to dualistic thinking and confusion: How can I be grateful when there's so much suffering? Even if I'm okay, I have to be mindful of how many are not okay, and work to help in any way I can.

My focus on this mission has kept me from accessing my pwn joy and pleasure because I feel guilty and somehow think that the JOY can't exist simultaneously with the HORROR. This may be the most obvious perspective in the world, but I have been so resistant to accepting the totality of what life offers. I am unlearning the unconscious (yet socially reinforced) patterning of duality which has boxed me away from joy and delight. I am opening the door.

I've been meditating on duality and thinking about the causes of a desire to confuse or stay confused about something, about life. Then one day, as I walked on Powell Butte and felt the joy that I feel in that magical place, I started to realize how my joy might be of service to others. I began to stop being willfully confused about the truth of the world, and willfully resistant to the complexity of life. So I am taking the time to ask, "How can my joy be of service to others today?" And I'm listening for the answers.

The chart of the moment shows the need for drastic changes. Powerful energies in the cardinal signs continue to pressure us to move blocked energy. On the New Moon in Cancer, this Friday June 23, consider the ways you can release hidden thoughts, suppressed feelings, stuck modes of being.

As the asteroid Juno moves into conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, the emphasis on embracing the paradox deepens. Juno shows us the way to manage the complexity of living. She also encourages us to trust our own intuition on what the next right action is. The next right action can look like self-care, offering assistance to others, taking a risk, or reading a poem. Juno’s magic is the ability to hold conflicting states. She is sourced so fully in her power that she doesn’t have to give a shit about appearances.

The overarching theme of this month is like a deep tissue massage to the psyche. Rub out those knots of confusion, attachment to ideas/beliefs, or obstacles to whatever feelings you DON’T want to have. For me, the obstacles I have to remove lead to joy. I’ve trained myself to think that joy is a waste of time in this world of such pain. I’ve been adamantly dismissive of people – especially New Age white people – who tell me to do what brings me joy, because this kind of language often has an aura around it of privilege and denial. Joy at the expense of others is not the joy I am after. How could it be? I’m learning how to be joyful, even when this world seems too broken, even when my own heart seems too broken. We are powerful beings, capable of holding the absurd and contradictory puzzles of being human.

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A Spell for the New Moon in Cancer Against Police Violence

We plant the seeds of undoing for the police state in America. We plant seeds for the growing of justice and care in new community relationships.

Witches. let's gather in all corners of the occupied territories, unceded lands, stolen lands, and settlements of the so-called United States of America. Gather on the New Moon in Cancer, June 23, to invoke the powers of protection against the police, protection for communities who are in danger of police violence.

We gather in sacred space, between the worlds, to plant the SEEDS OF UNDOING for the police state in America. Seeds to disarm the police, to dismantle state oppression.

We plant SEEDS OF VISION which will grow into new forms of care and protection in our communities, and justice for those who have been silenced.

May those who participate in police violence be disarmed. May they be liberated from their confusion, complicity, and hatred. May those who participate in police violence feel the pain of the victims of police violence and their families. May their hearts break with the grief. May the flood open the gates to renewal.

May the victims of police violence be given shelter, resources, and justice for the crimes committed against them. May their names be remembered for all time. May communities of color and immigrants, the people of First Nations, the houseless and the mentally ill, the queer and the silenced ones become the center of our communities, whose needs are tended with loving care and respect.

All the signs hold a paradox. The sign of Cancer is the sign of home / homeland, the sign of protection of families / state security, the sign of nourishing love / silence ideologies, the sign of parenting / absence of love. We must confront the shadow of Cancer: allegiance to homeland, attachment to identities that exclude, the upholding of state violence, the ideology of silence, the illusion of control as love. We must gather the power of the Moon, shining light on homes of love, protecting all who need shelter from the storm, nourishing one another with care, working through problems with openness, parenting with justice.

On the New Moon in Cancer on June 23, make two seeds that symbolize these intentions. Make them out of paper, plants, cloth, blood, spit, honey, food, fur, poems, etc. One seed will be for UNDOING, one seed with be for VISIONING. Bring some water. Create sacred space, outside in a place that feels right to you. Call in the Goddess who can help you with this. (I will be calling in Brigid, the warrior goddess of healing and fire to whom I am dedicated, and also Hecate, who looks after those who are silenced and ignored.) Call in your ancestors. Plant the seeds one at a time, focusing on the intention for each one, one at a time. Make an offering. (Make it count. An offering is a sacrifice of something, a trade, a bargain you are making, a gift you are giving, a way of binding you to the magic and saying thanks to the powers helping the magic flourish.) Nourish the seeds with the water. Chant, sing or find another way to raise the energy. Let the spell go do its work. Open the circle.

Let the spell work on you, open you, change you.

Take practical actions to help the spell grow, by showing up for people of color, against police violence, at city meetings, in groups united for changes. Show up in any way you can, so that the spell is growing both magically and practically. So mote it be.