Leo Full Moon / Lunar Eclipse - Personal Reflections
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“Creativity takes courage.” — Henri Matisse
Instead of an in-depth astrological musing, this blog is a personal reflection on how the energies of the recent Leo eclipse have influenced me.
The Moon in Leo was square Uranus in Aries, creating a radical shakeup and the urgent need to break free from old limits and restrictions. Eclipses always release a shadow, and this one released the shadow of Leonine power, creativity and self-expression. Opposite the Moon was the Sun in Aquarius - reminding us that our personal creative gifts are not just for our own pleasure, but gifts that will change the wider community.
This eclipse season wiped me out physically, mentally and emotionally: as Australia experienced an epic, sustained heatwave, Leo’s solar power illuminated the farthest corners of my being.
At the heart of it was the realisation of how far I’ve strayed from my core devotional practice: creativity.
I’ve lost the urge to make things that aren’t directly useful in material, financial or business terms.
I’ve lost the unshakeable knowing that, in the words of one of my favourite artists, Olafur Eliasson, the moment I put pen to paper is the moment I change the world.
I’ve betrayed this core truth, and I’ve betrayed myself.
As this eclipse fell on the exact degree of my Leo Moon in the 5th house, I realised how starved I’ve been for the creative food which nourishes my soul.
Some people pray to the Divine Mother.
Others to Mother Earth.
I pray to Mother Art.
Except I haven’t been visiting her temple lately.
For a long lately, truth be told, I’ve been worshipping the gods of practicality and resourcefulness, while the deities of creativity and vision wait patiently for me to re-light a candle that I extinguished long ago.
Again, truth be told, it’s not like I haven’t been creative at all.
I’ve made a business, countless blog posts, an astrology program, an astrology book, a set of astrology cards, numerous client projects and even a few works of culinary art in my kitchen. The decor in my home office is a work of art that I tend to daily.
But most of these creations have been birthed through practical necessity: How can I bring more of my creative essence into my work? How can I create more innovative and unique products and services for my clients? How can I enjoy this more, make it more beautiful?
I haven’t made anything for the pure and simple joy of making it. It’s all had a utilitarian purpose, rather than being a raw expression of my soul, pouring out of me because it must, not because my business needs it to.
Artists create from the dreaming heart of the universe. They catch whispers of inspiration, sometimes in fragments, sometimes whole and complete, and channel it into shape and form.
For no other reason that they have to.
Because it will destroy them otherwise.
They can’t NOT make their art.
Like a mother carrying a baby that must be born, otherwise they both may die, the artist needs to midwife each creation, allow it to move through them, and eventually have a life of its own.
An artist can’t say no to the surges moving through her - she is the vessel for, not the controller of, life.
And so the artist moves with the contractions of fear and pain, the ecstasy of bliss and pleasure as each creative child moves closer and closer to realisation.
Walking the knife-edge between inspiration and resistance, flow and persistence, is the artist’s way.
(By the way, The Artist’s Way is my number one self-help book of all time. My neuroses flare up when I stop making art, and I turn, in vain, to personal development to try to “fix” my problems through meditation, mindfulness or clearing, or maybe remove something from my diet like dairy, or create some kind of drama at home, because I’ve forgotten how to just MAKE something, anything that will reconnect me to my creative power, and the fact that I am a creator. From that space of artistic creation I am whole, unlimited, resourced and empowered. I am healed, changed and transformed through the creative process more than anything else.)
When I talk about artists, I’m not just talking about visual artists like painters and sculptors, but anyone who expresses directly from their soul, shares a gift that’s unique and special - something that only they can create.
A person who creates something authentic and unique is an artist.
An entrepreneur is an artist. A writer is an artist. A parent is an artist. A chef is an artist. A gardener is an artist. IF they are following their truth, and singing, whatever their medium, the song that must be sung through them into the world.
I’m not talking about sharing something that’s been regurgitated, re-packaged and reformatted in order to fit the vibe of your Instagram feed… I’m talking about original energy, new ideas, a perspective that’s yours alone.
We need more art.
We need more artists.
We need more people to step out of the shadows of their creative insecurity and into the luminescence of their creative power.
To drop the fear of being different, and the need to be derivative; to stop hiding behind cliches and start hollering their own voice.
(I need to do this myself as much as anyone else.)
During the eclipse, I realised I’ve lost my creative voice, and lost what I have to say.
I realised it’s been easier to be the cheerleader of other people’s art: being the inspired midwife to my clients and their gifts, being the visionary who can see the potential in my man’s musical talents…
During the eclipse I realised it’s time to help my life partner, a profoundly gifted singer/songwriter, make his first studio album - I’m stepping into the role of producer and collaborator (and even back-up singer!) in order to help him birth his art into the world.
Part of my genius zone is in seeing the holy potential of someone’s unique gifts, reflecting it back to them, and collaborating with them to bring it down to earth. A core aspect of my purpose is helping others own, and share their art.
But it’s not the only part.
I have art to share as well.
As a double Pisces, I’m so geared towards serving, and merging, with others, that I can conveniently forget to actualise my own visions. I can stay in the role of helper and keep avoiding my own deepest visions…
Why avoid the thing that will bring the most joy and expression to my soul?
Because the practice of bringing those visions into reality can be so damn scary.
It’s where all my fears of being fully here get triggered, all the voices of doubt and shame and guilt and who do you think you are?, all the reasons why this is a ridiculous idea and I should stick to what’s realistic, because it will never, ever work out the way I imagine it…
Making art is like Jedi training.
And when you try to make art your business it can get slippery… What if people don’t appreciate what I have to offer, and the money dries up? What if I step too far outside the lines, and I don’t receive anything in return?
Art itself doesn’t care about these conditions.
Art isn’t interested in being bought and sold.
It exists beyond that place entirely. And ironically, when it’s given from that place, the rewards are often bountiful and abundant.
I channelled an entire calendar last year, unexpectedly, and it came through like a work of art. It was birthed through me, sourced from a power far greater than I. The experience was the closest and most sustained feeling of inspired aligned dharma I’ve ever felt.
But since then I’ve felt the creative hangover.
The pragmatic, conditioned parts of me have gotten so used to watering my creativity down, contorting myself to fit into a box, and slowly but surely saying No, it can’t be, to the voice in my heart who just wants to create, create, create.
I’ve betrayed myself, over and over again.
I was taught to - like most of use were. I became an expert at it.
My father’s concern that I needed a stable job, rather than an erratic creative lifestyle, had something to do with it.
My childhood programming about being responsible and respectable, rather than letting my freak flag fly, had something to do with it.
My desire to escape the cycle of poverty I was born into, and the belief that I couldn’t trust art to provide enough for me, had something to do with it.
Past lives of giving up my art to take care of my family…
Of turning my back on creativity because it couldn’t be trusted, couldn’t promise me anything other than joy, and joy won’t pay the rent…
There’s been this either/or split for eons - do the sensible thing and provide, or let this uncontrollable creative energy free and risk losing it all…
When I was younger, the only path that called to me was art, in many forms and mediums. I couldn’t care less about pursuing a regular career: I just wanted to make things.
I’m still slowly finishing the fine art degree that I began 18 years ago as a wide-eyed teenager in Hobart. I majored in graphic design, thinking I’d work in advertising so I could at least make a decent living from my art.
I was keenly aware of the need to merge my creativity with practicality.
Because the question I was always asked when I spoke of my creative dreams was: “Great, but what are you actually going to do with your life? For money?”
I abandoned uni to train as a dressmaker and sew lace and crystals on wedding dresses in a small shop in Melbourne.
Later, I abandoned that dream to work a job that was going to pay me enough to start my own label. But in the jungle of work, life, family and relationships, the label never materialised. I abandoned that dream, too.
It’s a pattern. I conceive the dream, and then abandon it. I haven’t fully dared to believe in my art.
When I had a series of profound spiritual awakenings, starting about ten years ago, God became my new art. The passion I once felt for creation became a passionate desire to understand the universe and how it worked. To release layers and layers of my false self and remember who I really was - and know the true nature of existence.
I didn’t care about making art. Enlightenment was calling to me.
I trained as a transpersonal counsellor, worked in a healing centre, and eventually birthed my own astrology practice, which now focuses mainly on teaching others how to practice the art of the stars.
But for the past two years something’s been missing from this work, and from my life.
I’ve been restless, dreaming of creating paintings that combine astrology, symbology and portraiture. Going beyond delivering readings and teaching programs, and somehow bringing the chart alive on the canvas. A portrait of the true self, an illustration of the soul’s mythic essence.
These pieces of art have called to me, tapped on me, and I’ve entertained them to a limited degree, but only in the realm of fantasy.
I’ve never taken them seriously, because they’re so outside the box I’ve been working from.
And, truth be told, the visions in my mind and heart seem so very far from my current skills and abilities. I’ve told myself that would be nice, one day… One day when I have a decade to devote to refining my craft… One day when I have more time…. Maybe when I’m old…
But this eclipse opened that box, and I know I must create them. NOW.
Or those dreams, visions and creations will die inside of me, and parts of me will die along with them.
So, after the Full Moon I signed up for a six week painting course to unleash my inner visionary artist.
I’d love to make a series of paintings, one for each zodiac archetype, and use my own art in next year’s calendar.
I’d love to gift my clients their symbolic soul portrait, so they can remember who they are each time they gaze upon their wall.
But above all, I’d love to surrender to the process of birthing a work of art purely for the joy and pleasure of it.
It’s time to say YES to the creative spirit that moves through me.
It’s time for us all to say YES to the artist who sleeps in our soul.
Rather than asking my art what it can do for me, I must ask my art what it needs from me.
Trust it, nourish it, and care for it, rather than abandoning it again.
And with the ferocity of the lion, to courageously let the song inside me fly free.