Tag Archives: rituals

Cosmos in Chaos: Understanding the Virgo Full Moon through the teachings of Carl Jung

Jung’s Red Book was kept secret until 2011. It is a book of drawings and writings in which Jung let his imagination run free.

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. Carl Jung

Tonight’s full moon in Virgo is a blending of the mysterious, mystical, illuminating moon and the sixth sign of the zodiac — the virgin, ruler of the house of health. When we look at the separate parts, it’s easier to understand what such a blending of energies means and appreciate its meaning and teachings. One of the most enriching parts of learning astrology is honoring and learning from each full and new moon, with respect to the zodiac sign in which it takes place.

As I reflect on tonight’s full moon position in Virgo, I cannot help but think of one of the most interesting, intriguing, and revolutionary spirits of our times and his life work: the psychiatrist and mystic, Carl Gustav Jung. Jung’s teachings and thoughts were a true blending of mystical and scientific/analytic approaches, like the Lunar and Virgoan energies manifesting tonight. The moon is a symbol of the psyche, the subconscious, the inner workings, the spiritual, mystical, mysterious, rhythmic, instinctive, intuitive aspects of ourselves and our world. Virgo is not a planet, but a sign of the zodiac, whose energies are associated with service, analysis, logic, practicality, details, and some sort of order (though it may manifest quite chaotically!) As an earth sign, Virgo is also physically oriented, and likes bringing things down to earth. Virgo rules the 6th house, the house of health.* If there were a figure whose works and gifts to the world embodied tonight’s full moon energy, I feel it would be Jung.

While he was a bonafide psychiatrist amongst the ranks of Sigmund Freud, Jung was also heavily spiritually oriented and delved into such “occult” arts such as astrology, divination, the I ching, palmistry, and alchemy, for starters. I often like to visit the Carl Jung library in New York, where the extent of Jung’s eclecticism is displayed amongst shelves of rare books. The colorful spectrum of his studies and interests awes me. I honor the courage and the wisdom he had in bridging two sectors (mystical/spiritual/intuitive vs. scientific/analytic/concrete) that many people would rather keep very separate, particularly during his lifetime.

The beauty in Jung’s work that has always spoken to me is how he blurred the lines between science and art. Between spirit and body. Between heaven and earth. He urged all people to find and connect to a collective spirit (he called the collective unconscious), but also to be completely individual and “in” their self. His theory of synchronicity, in which the tiniest details of life such as a beetle flying into a window at a specific moment, could carry the deepest and most immense meaning for someone. Messages from the Universe in tiny, almost unnoticeable packages. Jung’s many theories about time, dreams, personality, collective unconscious, and his integration of ancient, forgotten wisdoms and esoteric teachings from virtually every religion and spiritual practice of mankind infuses his psychological repertoire with a magical, fantastic aura that defies any conventional boundaries between the arts and the sciences. When I first discovered Jung’s works, I couldn’t help but think, “wait, this man is really a psychologist?” I always find answers AND form endless new questions when I read Jung’s writings.

“We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling. Therefore, the judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy.”
— C.G. Jung

“Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”
— C.G. Jung

Jung was in fact a Leo with his moon in Taurus and his rising in Aquarius (though some argue Capricorn, his exact birth time is not agreed upon.) However, his work was definitely akin to tonight’s full moon in Virgo energy. So, tonight, I honor the contributions of Jung to the fields of psychiatry and to the fields of astrology, dream interpretation, and most likely the millions of other arts and sciences where his ability to integrate what seems to be “opposites”, but really is all part of one greater whole, made a difference. I encourage you to explore his works, but also your own inner workings. I honor the part inside of each of us that is eternally connected to the greater whole, to each other, to the stars and planets, yet very much on this earth, in this body, with these challenges and these gifts, and these very seconds, moments, hours, days… to live and to learn.

Some ideas for full moon rituals:

Wormood (Artemisia absinthium)  is one of my favorite herbs, my grandma used to give it to me whenever my stomach bothered me. It’s an herb of Virgo. image via botanical.com

Write out a *detailed* health overview for yourself including your current wellness level, what your daily patterns or health choices this past month were, including food, exercise, spiritual/emotional wellness choices, and any other important influencing factors. Be as objective as possible, so that you can analyze these choices to find patterns and areas that can be more balanced in the future.

Infuse tinctures or oils that are brewing with the strong lunar energy, especially made powerful through Virgo tonight, the ruler of the sixth house of health. I am putting out my tincture jars with feathers, stones, shells, under the moonlight to soak up that healing energy!

If you experience any dis-ease in the intestines or stomach area, this is a good time for healing that part of you. Try a tea with virgo herbs such as fennel or wormwood for the stomach, or meditate with the focus on the solar plexus chakra.

Without thinking too much or filtering your thoughts, make a list of all the small things you enjoy and appreciate in life at this very moment. the more detailed and “minor” the better. I once wrote a long list of the simple details about a place I lived in before I moved away, including such minor details as the way the curtains blew so slowly and gently with the breeze at a certain time of evening on certain days of summer. Whenever I reread this list, it reminds me of being back in that place and it’s wonderful. Capture the scents, the colors, the textures, sounds, the shadows, the movements, as if it were a painting. This is a very special activity and a way to time travel.

May this full moon be a time of fruition, a time of connection, a time in which the details of your life are illuminated and bring you a sense of wholeness, of oneness with all.

love, gem

*This is another connection I note between Jung and tonight’s moon, as he contributed much to the field of mental health.

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Spirit of Giving: Big Herbal Solstice Ring – Part II

This past winter solstice will forever be cherished and remembered, a time when 12 herbalists from all over the country joined a ring and shared gifts, love, and inspiration through the post. This second batch of gifts were as magical and beautiful as all the others, bringing some extra warmth and excitement in the mail through the cold crisp afternoons of January.

I love the medicinal vinegar infused with Moringa, an herb I was unfamiliar with before Paula sent me these gifts. Moringa is a “miracle tree,” with a super-high mineral content and a plethora of gifts. Paula is from South Florida where she grows and harvests this plant and uses it for salad dressings and soups, and as a water purifier.

I adored Wunder Budder’s Dark Mint Lip Balm and Super Soft Salve, truly versatile and blissfully simple herbal salves – the way it should be! Darcey Blue of Blue Turtle Botanicals sent me an exotic tube of Sacred Treasures Resin Balm with Frankincense and Myrrh along with a Winter Mist Tea blend and a Winter Solstice Elixir. So special – I could smell the earthy, botanical scent of Darcey’s Arizona-based herb farm the moment I opened the box! Lastly, though this special friend didn’t take part in the larger Solstice Swap, we did our own little barter for these lovely, heavenly Flower Fairie Herbal Soaps by Forest House Herbals. I received these amazingly soft, lavender and oatmeal soaps with beautiful packaging depicting fairies (my favorite) in exchange for a year’s subscription to the Starry Eyed Herbalist. They were so special that I waited to use them and last night I finally did, the soap is so soft and lathers up with the beautiful scent of lavender for a truly relaxing experience.

Munay Botanicals (FL)
Wunder Budder (Salem, MA)
Blue Turtle Botanicals (AZ)
Forest House Herbals (NH)
soon to come — Hedge Wife (AK)

Thank you to all the special green women who shared their gifts with me this Winter.

You are all beautiful! Until next Solstice!! xoxox Gem

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Spirit of Giving: Big Herbal Solstice Ring – Part I

We formed a ring of 12 herbalists, some strangers, some old friends, all united by a love of herbs and a spirit of sharing and healing. On the online herbal marketplace Poppyswap, one woman sagely decided to revive a lovely practice called a “solstice ring” in which 12 herbalists would each create 12 unique gifts in time for the Winter Solstice. Each herbalist would then send out a gift to each of the other 12 participants, so in the end nearly 150 packages traveled all over the country, from NY to Washington and anywhere in between. For the past couple of weeks it seems not a day went by without receiving a magical package on my doorstep. The fresh scents, creative packaging, and unique artisanship that went into these creations were breathtaking and inspiring. I finally sent out the last of my packages today and so I have decided to share part of this experience tonight, as the Winter Solstice is just hours away…It’s been an honor to partake and I hope all the love and generosity exchanged will continue to bring healing, warmth, and joy throughout the Winter season! Check back soon for the rest of the gifts as well!

Here are some of the beautiful handmade gifts I received so far from:
Worts + Cunning Apothecary (CA)
Good 4 You Herbals (MA)
Green Journey Seeds (OR)
Rosemary & Rue (NC)
Twysted Thystle (CO)
Maya Made (MN)
Wildly Natural Skincare (PA)
Herbal Revolution (ME)

more to follow….

…..and a Special offer! Comment on this post or on my Facebook Wall to be entered to win a Solstice Gift from Gem Botanicals. 3 winners will receive a handmade energy amulet filled with white sage, yarrow, or st. john’s wort!  Contest ends 12/31/12.

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