NEW CRESCENT MOON IN ARIES
We have passed through the Dark Moon in Aries into the New Crescent Moon today. We passed through the Spring Equinox last week, which is the official start of the lunar year, and have moved into the New Moon in Aries which is the official start to the lunar year. We can all feel the palpable energy of Mother Earth at this time of year as we watch the seeds push upward and out of the topsoil. As they make this upward movement, they meet resistance! Yet once they break through they receive the reward of the sun’s warmth. The sun’s light even when they are scarcely born fills them with a great desire to attain full growth.
Under the Aries Moon, we can tap into Aries ability tot face our fears in new ways, to find the courage to live a full and meaningful life. This is a time to follow our internal wisdom, our intuition with every ounce of courage we have been given because it takes courage to move deep into our wisdom. Because once we do this work, it becomes difficult not to be true to our hopes and dreams.
Everything moves in cycles and this turning of the wheel at the Spring Equinox is springs reminder that we are always moving and flowing. And whenever old growth is stripped away we make the space for new shoots. We can find inner and outer resistance, yet, patters can be broken and living from the energy of your core is stronger than your apathy!
For this New Crescent Moon, I want to share the story of the Celtic Alder Tree. The Alder Tree falls under the New/Waxing Moon Phase from March 18th – April 14th. So if you are born under these dates, this is your tree. The Alder tree is known as the Tree of Fairies and is associated with courage and our expanding spirit. It grows near the water in swampy, bog areas. Its wood is flexible and resistant to the rotting effects of water as when it is left to soak in water, it actually becomes hardened! This made it a perfect wood to use for bridges and it is said mythology, that the Alder tree bridges the magical space between earth and the heavens.
It is a tree that teaches you to follow your instincts and is symbolism is about the release, determination, and inner confidence. It is also a tree that supports and protects you physically, emotionally, and physically. It teaches us to blend strength and courage with a generosity of spirit of compassion. Can we not relate to the teachings of Alder in these times?
It is also the tree of the Spring Equinox when seeds awaken. It calls us to plant seeds under this spring energy. To hold it in our hand and envision a world in which we live in balance with nature, in peace with each other, where creativity and love flourish together. Placing your seed in the earth and watering and tending to are actions we can take to bring her qualities to birth in the world. It is the Alder tree that helps us to find a way to express our hopes and dreams at this Lunar New Year.
With this Lunar Fire, we can mix water and fire to influence us in finding the clarity, action or determination to complete the actions we desire. There is energy now that illuminates your understanding, it circulates endlessly behind and through your emotions. You know it as an inner light that burns clearly and steadily ~ this is a light that radiates out into the world from inside.
Planting & Designing Your Moon Garden
Under the heightened energies of the New and Full Moons we experience our highest tides ~ but did you know that it is a time when the waters beneath the earth are also affected? The same gravitational pull that is placed on the waters of the ocean also pulls the groundwater upward bringing moisture to the soils at the surface, encouraging your seeds to swell and burst into sprouts!
You can plant your flowers in a circle or a half-moon shape so that when they bloom the shape of the Moon is revealed. Find space in your garden, start some seedlings indoors, or plan your garden for the next New Moon. Whatever you do, it will carry the energy and intentions of your heart ~ so don’t wait, start today.
Planting a garden of white and silvery flowers that bloom at night can add a radiant, shimmering energy to your evening rituals. Here are a few flowers I love.
close to your home, you can also enjoy their evening fragrance on warm summer evenings when your windows are open.
Moon out during the day by planting these sweet plants
Dusty Miller (senecio cineraria) beautiful silvery, a velvety soft plant that is wonderful for contrasting dark foliage and is also a great bed plant ~ represents happiness and delicacy.
A few other day plants for you to consider are Lambs Ears, Silver Thyme, and Silver Sage.
Moonwort (lunaria annua) ~ in the language of flowers this plant represents money, sincerity & honesty. It has dried pods that are beautiful and can be used later in the ceremony. However, please note that this is a biannual plant ~ meaning it lives two years and will flower in the second year. Its flowers will be followed by a dollar coin-sized flat pod that changes from green to brown and then as the seed drops, to the beautiful silver color… so planting these for the first two years will ensure flowering each year.
Planting & Designing Your Elemental Garden
Before you plant anything, you’ll need to figure out how much space you have to work with. Ideally, you’ll want to make your elemental garden in a circle. To make a circle in your yard, figure out first where you want the center to be. Mark the center by driving a temporary stake into the ground. Next, figure out what diameter you want the circle to be. Using a piece of string tied to the top of the stake, walk around in a circle, marking the perimeter. You can do this with birdseed, a handful of dirt, or anything else you like. Once you’ve marked your circle, till up the soil. Although it’s a good exercise to use a shovel, it’s also backbreaking work. If you’ve got a large space to cover, you may want to invest in a good rototiller.Once you’ve tilled up the soil, figure out which way is north. You can do this easily with a compass, or if you know where the sun rises and sets, it shouldn’t be too hard to determine which way is east and which is west. After you’ve figured out your directions, divide your circle into quadrants, so that each direction has one-quarter of the circle, and mark your spaces with stones.
Choosing Your Plants
Each of the four directions is associated with an element. North is connected to the earth, east to air, south to fire and west to water. To plant your elemental garden, figure out which plants are connected with those particular elements — and this will vary depending on where you live. For example, the earth is associated with stability and security. Why not plant some herbs there that carry the same associations? Bryony, cinquefoil, honeysuckle, and pennyroyal* are all related to earth.
For the east section of your garden, which is tied into the themes of air, use plants connected with inspiration, wisdom, and knowledge. Sage, marjoram, mugwort, and members of the mint family are perfect for this quarter of the circle. In the south, select plants related to the passionate qualities of fire, such as basil, betony, rosemary, and rue. Finally, the west quadrant is where your water-related plants should go — hyssop, yarrow, chamomile, and ivy will do well in this section.
As you dig a hole for each plant, you may wish to add a blessing. Get your hands in the dirt, dig in, and feel the soil. Thank the earth for the gift it’s going to give you. As you place the plant or seeds in the hole, you might want to offer something like:
Or, you may prefer to offer a specific blessing for each quadrant – for the southern section, offer a blessing of fire, for the west, a blessing of water, and so on. In some traditions, it’s popular to smudge the garden or perform some other purification rite after planting — after all, a garden is a sacred space.
If you’re going to spend any time in your elemental garden — and you’ll need to if you don’t want your plants to die — it’s not a bad idea to add accessories that make you feel at home. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but you might want to consider some of the following:
- Statues of the gods of your tradition
- A gazing ball
- A fountain or other water feature
- A fire bowl
- A small altar
- A bench or chair for meditation
- Wind chimes or bells
- A prayer pole or decorative flag
To tie in the accessories to the elemental theme, consider a water feature in the south corner, a small brazier to the west, a pile of stones in the north, or a decorative flag on the eastern portion. Any of these will be perfect for bringing you closer to the elements in your garden. Make your garden a place where you can sit and reflect, and it will indeed be a spiritual and magical place!
Ways that you can use your flowers after they have blossomed under the energy of the moon are many! You can cut and dry the flowers to use in creating mandalas or artwork or add them to your sage bundle; pluck the flowers at the height of their bloom and place them in a bath to catch their healing energy. I encourage you to explore the myriad of possibilities in which their energy speaks to your creativity.
by Wigington, Patti. Learn Religions
The beauty of flowers has been shared throughout time as a way to evoke feelings and thoughts that are sometimes difficult to find words for ~ using this time to place or invoke your intentions can bring you grounding, joy, and keep it flowing throughout the summer.
A few thoughts to consider while you are planting or planing ~
What is the beginning?
Where is the growing center and how can you tap into your courage?
What is just beginning to germinate?
How can you follow your inner wisdom more closely?
Spring is a time to replenish, a time when the rains come, plants grow, animals drink ad the Earth replenishes herself. Heed the lesson. We each need time to replenish ourselves as well. Allow yourself to be replenished; get out into the rain, put your bare feet on the earth, remember the joys of being young and free and feel the happiness it brings Plant seeds, plant joy. Spread love and hope.